The Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal, on Friday, July 1, found Senator Peter Nwaoboshi guilty and sentenced him to seven years in prison for representing the Delta North Senatorial District in the National Assembly.
The court mandated that the two businesses of Nwaoboshi, Suiming Electrical Ltd. and Golden Touch Construction Project Ltd., be dissolved in accordance with Section 22 of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2021.
Furthermore, Federal High Court’s verdict that on June 18, 2021 2018, discharged and acquitted the defendants of a two count allegation of fraud and money laundering was challenged by the Appellate Court after the appeal was successful.
The three defendants were charged by the EFCC for buying Guinea House, Marine Road in Apapa, Lagos, for N805 million.
It was claimed that N322 million, or a portion of the money paid to the vendor, which Suiming Electrical Ltd sent on behalf of Nwaoboshi and Golden Touch Construction Project Ltd, was part of the fraud proceeds.
But in his ruling, Justice Aneke stated that the prosecution had not shown sufficient solid evidence or important witnesses to support the elements of the offenses for which it had accused the defendants.
Justice Aneke said the evidence of PW2 “proved that the third defendant obtained a loan of N1.2 billion from Zenith Bank for purchase of additional equipment and as the provision of working capital.
“It also proved that the loan of N1.2 billion together with interest of N24 million was properly granted to the third. Nothing else was proved by the complainant or prosecutor in this case,” the judge said.
He claimed a fatal blow was dealt the case of the prosecution by its failure to call officials of Sterling Bank “to testify and probably tender exhibits F and F10”.
Consequently, he discharged and acquitted the defendants.
However, ruling on the EFCC’s appeal today, the Court of Appeal held that the trial judge erred in dismissing the charges against the respondents. It said the prosecution had proved the ingredients of the offence and consequently found the defendants guilty as charged.