Crime/DefenseLegal/Judiciary

Money laundering: Senator Nwaoboshi convicted, jailed 7 years

By Francis IWUCHUKWU, Lagos

The Senator representing Delta North Senatorial District at the National Assembly, Peter Nwaoboshi, was on Friday convicted and sentenced to seven years imprisonment.

Nwaoboshi was sent to jail by the Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal sitting in Igbosere, Nigeria.

The Appellate Court also directed that the senator’s two companies, Golden Touch Construction Project Ltd and Suiming Electrical Ltd, be wound up in line with the provisions of Section 22 of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2021.

This development was made public by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, which stated that the court’s decision came sequel to an appeal challenging the judgment of Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of the Federal High Court which on June 18, 2021, discharged and acquitted the defendants on two counts of fraud and money laundering.

It would be recalled that the EFCC had arraigned the three defendants over the acquisition of a property named Guinea House, Marine Road, in Apapa, Lagos, for N805 million.

Justice Aneke in his earlier judgment had declared that the evidence of the prosecutor “proved that the third defendant obtained a loan of N1.2 billion from a new generation bank (name withheld) 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 EFCC quoted the judge as saying in a statement.

According to Justice Aneke, a fatal blow was dealt to 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.”

But ruling on the EFCC’s appeal, the Court of Appeal held that the trial judge erred in dismissing the charges against the respondents.

Part of the money paid to the vendor – N322 million transferred by Suiming Electrical Ltd on behalf of Nwaoboshi and Golden Touch Construction Project Ltd – was alleged to be part of the proceeds of fraud.

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