Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia of the Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday granted bail to convicted former Director-General of Nigeria Maritime Administration Safety Agency (NIMASA), Raymond Omatseye.
Omatseye, who was convicted on charges of contract scam was granted bail in the sum of N500,000 pending the hearing and determination of his appeal at the Court of Appeal.
The court noted that Omatseye had in his affidavit deposed that his child suffers from a severe medical condition, which is an uncontrollable epilepsy seizure which has “put the family under serious strain.”
Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia held that she “will admit the appellant to bail on the single ground of being a mother. “Even a mad woman will come after you if you toil with her child.
“The applicant is hereby admitted to bail in the sum of N500,000 with two sureties each in like sum.
The court stated “One of the sureties must be a level 16 officer in the civil service who must deposit his international passport with the court’s registry.”
Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia had on May 20, sentenced Omatseye to a prison term of five years for awarding contracts above threshold while in office.
The judge had found Omatseye guilty of 24 out of the 27 counts preferred against him. She however, discharged and acquitted him of 3 out of the 27 counts bordering on bid rigging.
Dissatisfied, Omatseye had prayed the court to grant him bail pending the determination of his appeal lodged at the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division.
According to him, given the number of years it takes to prosecute appeals, it is likely that he could have finished serving the prison term by the time the appeal is determined.
Besides, Omatseye had said he is a father of four children, one of whom is very ill and suffers from “severe medical conditions of epilepsy.”
He had told the court that his wife stays full time in London with the sick child, to enable him get proper medical attention.
Omatseye had averred that he would not run away if granted bail.