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A’Court upturns ex-NIMASA DG, Omatseye 5yr jail term



A’Court upturns ex-NIMASA DG, Omatseye 5yr jail term

A former director-general of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Raymond Omatseye, on Thursday breathed a sigh of relief as the Lagos State Court of Appeal reversed his five year jail sentence over allegations of N1.5 billion fraud.

A Lagos Federal High Court presided over by Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia, had on May 20, 2016 sentenced the former NIMASA DG to five years imprisonment over an alleged contract scam.

However, Omatseye had approached the appellant court seeking a reversal of the Federal High Court judgement that sentenced him to five years in jail.

When the matter came up on Thursday in court, Justice Yargata Nimpar, held that the High Court that tried him did not properly evaluate the evidence before it.

Read also: Ex-NNPC GMD Yakubu’s hope to recover forfeited $9m fails

Nimpar, while reading the decision of the appellant court, further said, “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.”

Omatseye was found guilty by the High Court presided over by Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia of 24 out of the 27 charges leveled against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).


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