Court clears Senator Nwaoboshi of N322m fraud charge
Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of the Federal High Court in Lagos has dismissed the N322million money laundering charge filed against Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The judge in a ruling delivered today June 18, held that the EFCC failed to prove the elements of the offences for which it charged the lawmaker. The judge also discharged Nwaoboshi’s two firms – Golden Touch Construction Project Ltd and Suiming Electrical Ltd – on the same ground.
The Senator who represents Delta North Senatorial district, and his companies, were arraigned in 2018 before Justice Mohammed Idris who was later elevated to the Court of Appeal. They were then re-arraigned before Justice Aneke on October 5, 2018. In the two-count charge marked FHC/L/117C/18., the EFCC alleged that the defendants committed the offence between May and June 2014, in Lagos.
Nwaoboshi was alleged to have acquired a property described as Guinea House, Marine Road, in Apapa Lagos, for the sum of N805million. The prosecution said he reasonably ought to have known that N322million out of the purchase sum formed part of proceeds of an unlawful act. The sum was said to have been transferred to the vendors by order of Suiming Electrical Ltd.
Suiming Electrical was alleged to have on May 14, 2014, aided Nwaoboshi and Golden Touch to commit money laundering.
However, in the judgment delivered today, Justice Aneke held that the agency failed to prove the elements of the offences for which it charged the senator. She held that the prosecution’s case collapsed because “bank officials were not called to testify”. She also discharged the companies on the same ground.
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