A Federal High Court in Lagos, South West Nigeria, recently discharged and acquitted Senator Peter Nwaoboshi of Delta North senatorial district, Delta State, Nigeria, and his two corporations.
They were accused of laundering N805 million.
Golden Touch Construction Project Limited and Suiming Electrical Limited are the two limited liability firms charged alongside the senator.
According to the presiding Judge, Chukwujekwu Aneke, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) failed to substantiate the elements of the offenses for which the legislator and his two firms were charged.
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Justice Aneke further said that the prosecution’s case collapsed because ” Sterling Bank officials were not called to testify.” The defendants were re-arraigned before Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke on 5th of October,2018. They were initially arraigned before Justice Mohammed Idris who was later elevated to the court of Appeal.
In the two-count charge marked FHC/L/117C/18., the anti graft agency 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 contended that 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 offence. The two count charge filed before the court against the defendants stated this:
That you Peter Nwaoboshi and Golden Touch construction Project Limited between May and June 2014 within the jurisdiction of the honourable court did acquire a property described as Guinea house Marina Road, Apapa for the sum of N805million when you reasonably ought to have known that the sum of N322million out of the purchase price transferred to the vendor by order of suiming Electrical Limited formed part of the proceeds of unlawful act to wit fraud contrary to section 15(2)(d) of the money laundering Act 2011 and punishable under section 15(3)of the same Act.
That you Suiming Electrical Limited on or about 14th May 2014 aided Peter Nwaobosi and Golden Touch construction Project Limited to commit money laundering contrary to section 18(a) of the money laundering prohibition Act 2011 and punishable under section 15(3)read in conjunction with section 15(2)(d)of the same act.