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The Senator representing Delta North Senatorial District at the National Assembly, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, has been sentenced to 7 years imprisonment for money laundering.
Nwaoboshi was convicted on Friday by the Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal.
The Court also issued a further order that his two companies, Golden Touch Construction Project Ltd and Summing Electrical Ltd, be wound up in line with the provisions of Section 22 of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2021.
The Appellate Court’s ruling followed the success of the appeal by challenging the judgment of Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of the Federal High Court which on June 18, 2021, discharged and acquitted the defendants of a two-count charge of fraud and money laundering.
Africa Daily News, New York recalls that EFCC had a few years ago arraigned the three defendants over the acquisition of a property named Guinea House, Marine Road, in Apapa, Lagos, for ₦805 million.
Part of the money paid to the vendor, precisely a sum of ₦322 million transferred by Suiming Electrical Ltd on behalf of Nwaoboshi and Golden Touch Construction Project Ltd, was alleged to be part of proceeds of fraud.
Ruling, Justice Aneke held that the prosecution failed to call vital witnesses and tender concrete evidence to prove the elements of the offences for which it charged the defendants.
Justice Aneke said the evidence of PW2 ‘proved that the third defendant obtained a loan of ₦1.2 billion from Zenith Bank for the purchase of additional equipment and as a provision of working capital.
‘It also proved that the loan of ₦1.2 billion together with interest of ₦24 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 with 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 on Friday, the Court 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.