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Ex-NIMASA DG, Callistus Obi, To Spend 7 Years In Prison

Ex-NIMASA DG, Callistus Obi, to spend 7 Years in prison.     

Funsho Akinwale

Callistus Obi, a former acting Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, was on Monday sentenced to seven years imprisonment for a 136 million naira fraud.

Justice Mojisola Olateregun of Federal High Court, Lagos, who presided over the case also gave Obi an option of 42 million naira fine.

Leading to the judgement, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had arraigned the former NIMASSA boss on an eight-count charge bordering on fraud involving one Alu Dismas, who was an aide to the ex-Director-General of the agency, Patrick Akpolokemi.

The Judge, while delivering his judgment, held that it was not in doubt that the prisons were congested and unconducive, which necessitated consideration of a non-custodian sentence.

Justice Olateregun, however, stated the need for sentencing, noting that it was just to send warning signals to the public and the offender will serve as a deterrent to others.

The judge punished the convicts with seven years imprisonment with an option of 7 million naira on count four.

She ordered the companies to pay a fine of 10 million each on count five but made no forfeiture orders against them.

According to the charge, the convicts committed the offences on August 5, 2014.

The prosecution said that they conspired to convert the money from NIMASA, with the knowledge that some were proceeds of stealing.

The offences contravened the provisions of Sections 15 and 18(a) of the Money Laundering Prohibitions (Amendment) Act, 2012. (NAN).