The Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL) has described Friday’s conviction and sentence of Mr. Raymond Omatseye, a former Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), to five years jail term by a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos as a sign that the anti-corruption war is working.
The court presided over by Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia found Omatseye guilty on 24 out of the 27 count charge bordering on bid rigging and contract splitting preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC.)
Mr, Debo Adeniran, executive chairman of the Coalition said in Lagos on Saturday that the conviction of the former NIMASA boss is an indication that corrupt leaders can be found guilty if their prosecution is well-handled from investigation to prosecution at the court.
“It has always been our position that the conviction of corruption criminals was possible if the cases are handled diligently from information gathering to arrests and from prosecution to conviction.
“The truth is that 99 per cent of the so-called corruption crimes suspects are mostly likely to be found guilty if their cases were diligently handled.”
“Some of the corrupt criminals have the wherewithal to take advantage of the lacuna in our laws and the shoddy prosecutions to escape justice. There should be thoroughness in investigations and diligence in prosecutions for all the cases of corruption; these will go a long way in ensuring that corrupt criminals do not cleverly escape the wrath of the law,” Adeniran noted.
The Coalition commended the Federal Government, the EFCC and the civil society organisations and urged them to keep the tempo up “as the anti-corruption war is beginning to bear fruits with recovery of loots and the latest conviction.”
It reiterated its call that people found guilty of stealing more than N1b be sentenced to life imprisonment and be made to carter for their upkeep while in prison.
“They should be used as objects to educate the young, the youth and all when they go on excursion to the prisons, seeing former corrupt leaders in such situation will certainly serve to deter the potentially corrupt”, Adeniran concluded.