- Omatseye was found guilty on 24 counts of corruption and was sentenced to five years in jail by a federal high court in May, 2016
- Appeal court ruled that Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia, who handed down the sentence, did not do justice to the evidence before her
- The Appeal court ruled that Omatseye was wrongly declared a criminal, an action that is injurious to the war against corruption
- The court also said the EFCC rode roughshod over the judiciary with its prosecution
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 and was found guilty of 24 of them by the high court.
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com gathered that Andrew Yakubu, a former Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, lost an application seeking to stop the forfeiture of his $9.8 million seized by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to government.
A Federal High Court in Kano dismissed the application filed by Ahmad Raji, a counsel to Yakubu.
Presiding judge Justice Zainab Abubakar said the court, contrary to Raji’s argument, had jurisdiction to hear the case.
Watch this NAIJ.com TV video of EFCC arraigning a former NNPC group managing director Andrew Yakubu in court over fraud allegations