A federal court in Lagos on Monday sentenced former Acting Director General of NIMASA, Calistus Obi, to seven years in prison for N136 million of fraud.
It will be remembered that the OBI was sentenced on May 23 with Alu Dimas, advisor to Patrick Akpobolokemi, former director general of NIMASA.
The detainees were tried along with two companies: Grande Patto Limited and global investment of the sea, on 12 April 2016, on charges of eight charges facing the conspiracy, conversion and money laundering amounting to N136million (Cento thirty-six million Naira).
President Mojisola Olatore first judge found the defendant guilty of the charges five, six, seven and eight. The second defendant was convicted of two and four charges.
In the last session, the EFCC lawyer, Rotimi Oyedepo, argued that the defendants wasted short time so that they did not qualify to enjoy the judge’s discretion not to impose the maximum sentence.
He said: “This is a time we must begin to make statements that send a signal to public servants and those entrusted with public funds not to betray the trust imposed on them as the court had found in this case.
“The first and second defendant converted the total sum of N111 million to their personal use, while the first, third, and fourth defendants converted the sum of N114 million to their personal use.
“The court has the power to order them to refund the money and compensate the Agency for the funds already utilised.
“We also urge the court to order the forfeiture to the Federal Government of the sum of N30 million recovered by the EFCC from the first defendant.”
Oyedepo urged the court to order the forfeiture of a hotel, La Diva Hotel and Events Centre in Asaba, Delta State, belonging to the first defendant to the Federal Government, saying that, “Doing this will also send a warning signal to intending members of the public who want to dip their hands into public funds.”