Sunday, August 7, 2022

Court of Appeal convicts Senator Nwaoboshi of money laundering

The anti-graft EFCC secured a key victory in its campaign against endemic graft after appealing a defeat at the lower court in August 2021.

• July 1, 2022
Peter Nwaoboshi
Peter Nwaoboshi

A Court of Appeal panel has convicted Senator Peter Nwaoboshi of money laundering, according to court sources. 

Mr Nwaoboshi, representing Delta North, was convicted following an appeal by the anti-graft EFCC. The agency had appealed the June 2021 ruling of Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of the Federal High Court, Lagos.

The judge discharged and acquitted Mr Nwaoboshi,64, of about N322 million money laundering claims filed by the EFCC, triggering the appeal.

The EFCC had alleged that N322 million of the money formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful act, claiming the fund was transferred to vendors by order of Suiming Electrical Ltd.

See the full statement of EFCC in the development below:

EFCC Press Release
A’ Court Jails Senator Nwaoboshi 7 Years for Money Laundering

The Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal today July 1, 2022 convicted and sentenced Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, senator representing Delta North Senatorial District at the National Assembly, to 7 years imprisonment along with his two companies: Golden Touch Construction Project Ltd and Suiming Electrical Ltd

In addition, the Court of Appeal ordered that the companies who were the 2nd and 3rd respondents in appeal be wound up in line with Section 22 of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended) and their properties forfeited to the Federal Government of Nigeria

The panel, comprising Justices Abdullahi Bayero, Obande Ogbuniya and Peter Affen in their judgment held that the trial court erred because the prosecution proved its case beyond reasonable doubt against the respondents and thus reverse the earlier judgement discharging and acquitting the respondents.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had challenged the judgment of Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of the Federal High Court which on June 18, 2021 discharged and acquitted the defendants of a two count charge 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, precisely a sum of 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.


But in his judgment, 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.


Justice Aneke 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,” the judge said.


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 today, 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.


Wilson Uwujaren
Head, Media & Publicity
1 July, 2022

We have recently deactivated our website's comment provider in favour of other channels of distribution and commentary. We encourage you to join the conversation on our stories via our Facebook, Twitter and other social media pages.

More from Peoples Gazette

Hot news Home top

Manchester United woes continue under ten Hag; lose 2-1 to Brighton at Old Trafford

But new coach Erik ten Hag and a couple signing could not save the Red Devils from Brighton who humiliated them 2-1 at Old Trafford.

Faith

Muslim lifestyle expo holds in Indonesia

The trade fair would attract tens of thousands offline visitors and millions of online viewers from various countries, organisers say.

Agriculture

Yobe distributes UNDP-assisted inputs to 500 farmers

Mr Goje said the support was part of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Yobe State Government Early Recovery Project.

Census

NationWide

Nigerians give advice on Census 2023

Mr Nwagou suggested that the statistics gathered should be used to effect positive change in the country.

Agriculture

60% of Nigerian youths should be in Agriculture: Beauty pageant

Ms Odida said that most youths were not aware of the abundant opportunities in the agricultural sector.

Abuja

Banning Okada in Abuja would increase poverty, crime rate, residents warn

In separate interviews, some residents advised the federal government to rescind the decision.