The Court of Appeal in Lagos has reversed the sentence on former director-general of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Raymond Omatseye.
Omatseye was convicted in May 2016 by Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia of the federal high court in Lagos, over alleged N1.5 billion contract scam.
The high court judge ruled that Omatseye was guilty of 24 out of the 27 charges brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
But in the appeal court ruling on Thursday, Justice Yargata Nimpar, who read the decision of the court, noted that the high court did not properly evaluate the evidence against the accused person before delivering judgement.
“The prosecution should not ride roughshod over the constitution,” Justice Nimpar said.
“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.”