Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of the Federal High Court in Lagos on Friday discharged and acquitted Senator Peter Nwaoboshi over the N322 million money laundering charge brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Justice Aneke cleared the Delta federal lawmaker after holding that the anti-graft agency failed to prove the elements of the charge.
Nwaoboshi, a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, was acquitted alongside his two companies, Golden Touch Construction Project Ltd and Suiming Electrical Ltd, on the same ground.
The Senator, who represents Delta North in the red chamber 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 on a two-count charge of money laundering.
The EFCC, in the charges, claimed that Nwaoboshi and Golden Touch Construction Project Limited purchased a property known as Guinea House, Marine Road, Apapa, Lagos for N805m between May and June 2014.
The anti-graft agency claimed that N322m out of the N805m, which Nwaoboshi and the firm paid for the property, was part of proceeds of “an unlawful act, to wit: fraud.”
The EFCC alleged that the N322m was transferred to the vendor of the property on the order of Suiming Electricals Limited.
Suiming Electricals Limited was accused of aiding Nwaoboshi and Golden Touch Construction Project Limited to commit money laundering on or about May 14, 2014.
The prosecution said the defendants acted contrary to sections 18(a) and15(2)(d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 and are liable to punishment under Section 15(3) of the same Act.
All the accused persons, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.
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