Former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Raymond Omatseye, got a reprieve today May 11 2017 through a judgement delivered by an Appeal court based in Lagos. A lower court had initially found him guilty and sentenced him to jail on allegations of N1.5 billion fraud.
The decision of the Appellate court was read by Justice Yargata Nimpar, and she said that the High Court which tried him did not properly evaluate the evidence before it.
The Federal High Court, Lagos, on May 20, 2016, presided by Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia, had sentenced Omatseye to five years in jail.It had found Omatseye guilty of 24 out of the 27 charges brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
“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 offense has been committed.
I find merit in the appeal. The conviction is hereby set aside and the appellant is hereby discharged and acquitted”, the Appellate court said.