Raymond Omatseye, a former director-general of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), has been discharged and acquitted of allegations of corruption to the tune of N1.5 billion by an appeal court.
The appellate court sitting in Lagos reversed a five-year jail sentence handed to Omatseye by Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia, a federal high court in Lagos on May 20, 2016.
The Cable reports that the Judge Yargata Nimpar, who read the decision of the court, noted that the federal high court that tried Omatseye did not properly evaluate the evidence before it.
Nimpar overturned the ruling, saying: “The prosecution should not ride roughshod over the constitution. “The judiciary will do the war on corruption more harm by declaring someone a criminal, where no offence has been committed “I find merit in the appeal. The conviction is hereby set aside and the appellant is hereby discharged and acquitted.”
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had brought 27 charges of corruption and misappropriation of funds against Omatseye who was found guilty of 24 of them by the high court.