Justice Mojisola Olatoregun of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi,
Lagos, on Monday, June 3, 2019, sentenced Calistus Obi, a former
acting Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety
Agency, NIMASA to 42 years imprisonment.
Also sentenced to 42 years imprisonment is Alu Dismas, an aide to
Patrick Akpobolokemi, a former Director-General, NIMASA.
Justice Olatoregun found the defendants guilty on counts two, three,
four, six, seven and eight and sentenced them to seven years
imprisonment each on each count.
The Judge, however, gave the convicts an “option of fine” of N42 million
on each of the count. Justice Olatoregun also imposed a N10 million fine
on the third and fourth convicts: Global Sea Investment and Grand Pact
The convicts were arraigned on April 12, 2016 on an eight-count charge
bordering on conspiracy, conversion, and money laundering to the tune of
One of the counts reads: “That you, Callistus Nwabueze Obi and Dismas
Alu Adoon, on or about the 5th day of August 2014, in Lagos, within the
jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, did conspire amongst yourselves
to commit an offence to wit: Conversion of the sums of N111, 000, 000.00
(One Hundred and Eleven Million naira) property of NIMASA, knowing that
the said sums were proceeds of stealing, and thereby committed an
They both pleaded not guilty to the charges, thereby setting the stage
for their trial.
During course of the trial, the prosecution called eight witnesses and
tendered several documents, which were admitted in evidence by the
When the sentencing hearing began, prosecution counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo
urged the court to pronounce sentence prohibiting the crime and impose
maximum sentence on the convicts, having allowed the court to go through
the rigor of full scale trial without taking advantage of Section 270
which would have saved the time of the court with accelerating the
He also told the court that Section 15(3) of the Money Laundering
Prohibition Act has limited the discretion of the court in sentencing
He explained regarding the crime committed by the convicts, that the
Section specifies that the “court shall sentence not more fourteen years
and not less than seven years imprisonment”.
He urged the court to order the convicts to make restitution or make
compensation to the victim of the crime, which is NIMASA and order the
return of the embezzled funds and a company, LA Diva Hotels and Events
Limited situated at Plot 12, Phase 4, Cora Area, Asaba, Delta State,
belonging to the first defendant, which forms part of the proceeds of
crime as stated by the first defendant in the cause trial.