The Court of Appeal, Lagos Division on Friday convicted and sentenced Senator Peter Nwaoboshi to seven years imprisonment.
The appellate court also ordered the lawmaker’s two companies, Golden Touch Construction Project Ltd and Suiming Electrical Ltd, to be wound up.
This is in line with the provisions of Section 22 of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2021.
The ruling was consequent upon the appeal filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), challenging the judgement of Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of the Federal High Court.
NWaoboshi was elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and later defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Justice Aneke had on June 18, 2021 discharged and acquitted the defendants of a two-count charge of fraud and money laundering.
The senator representing Delta North Senatorial District at the National Assembly along with his firms were arraigned over the acquisition of a property named Guinea House, Marine Road, in Apapa, Lagos, for N805 million.
A sum of N322 million, part of the payment and suspected to be part of proceeds of fraud, was allegedly transferred by Suiming Electrical Ltd on behalf of Nwaoboshi and Golden Touch Construction Project Ltd.
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.
The Judge also 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 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.”
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 on Friday, July 1, 2022, 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.