The Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal on Friday convicted and sentenced the Senator representing Delta North Senatorial District at the National Assembly, Peter Nwaoboshi, to seven years imprisonment.
The court also ordered 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.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission said the court’s ruling was delivered in 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.
EFCC had arraigned the three defendants over the acquisition of a property named Guinea House, Marine Road, in Apapa, Lagos, for N805 million.
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 proceeds of fraud.
Earlier in his judgment, Justice Aneke said the evidence of the prosecutor “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,” the EFCC quoted the judge as saying in a statement.
The high court judge was also quoted as claiming that 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”.
However, ruling on the EFCC’s appeal on Friday, the Court of Appeal held that the trial judge erred in dismissing the charges against the respondents.
“The court said the prosecution had proved the ingredients of the offence and consequently found the defendants guilty as charged,” EFCC said.