Peter Nwaoboshi, the senator for the Delta North Senatorial District in the National Assembly, was found guilty and sentenced to seven years in jail by the Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal on Friday.
Additionally, the court ruled that the senator’s two firms, Golden Touch Construction Project Ltd and Suiming Electrical Ltd, be dissolved in accordance with Section 22 of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2021.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission stated that the court’s decision came in response to an appeal challenging the 18 June 2021 decision of Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of the Federal High Court, which discharged and acquitted the defendants on two counts of fraud and money laundering.
The EFCC had indicted the three defendants for the N805 million purchasing of a property titled Guinea House, Marine Road, in Apapa, Lagos.
Suiming Electrical Ltd on behalf of Nwaoboshi and Golden Touch Construction Project Ltd allegedly transferred N322 million to the vendor as part of fraud proceeds.
Earlier in his ruling, Justice Aneke stated that the prosecutor’s evidence “established that the third defendant obtained a N1.2 billion loan from Zenith Bank for the purchase of additional equipment and provision of working capital.”
“It also demonstrated that the loan of N1.2 billion plus N24 million in interest was properly granted to the third.” In this case, neither the complainant nor the prosecutor presented any additional evidence, the judge was quoted as saying by the EFCC.
The high court judge was also quoted as saying that the prosecution’s case was dealt a fatal blow by its failure to call Sterling Bank officials to testify and likely submit exhibits F and F10. Therefore, he released and acquitted the defendants.”
Friday, the Court of Appeal ruled in response to the EFCC‘s appeal that the trial judge erred in dismissing the charges against the respondents.
“The court ruled that the prosecution had established the elements of the crime and consequently found the defendants guilty as charged,” the EFCC explained.