Senator Peter Nwaoboshi’s conviction and seven-year prison sentence for fraud and money laundering have been overturned by the Supreme Court.
The court has ordered the immediate release of Nwaoboshi, who represented Delta North in the ninth Senate, from Ikoyi prisons in Lagos, where he was being held. Additionally, the two companies implicated in the case, Golden Touch Construction Project Ltd and Suiming Electrical Ltd, have been freed from the charges brought against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The Supreme Court’s decision, reached by a split decision of four-to-one, nullifies the previous judgment of the Court of Appeal in Lagos on July 1, 2022. The Court of Appeal had overturned the discharge and acquittal of Nwaoboshi and the two companies by a Federal High Court in Lagos.
Justice Emmanuel Agim delivered the lead judgment, asserting that Nwaoboshi and the two companies were unfairly and maliciously prosecuted by the EFCC. The court deemed their actions as not constituting any offenses recognized by the law, and accused the EFCC of needlessly subjecting them to a criminal trial for what was essentially a civil transaction.
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The EFCC had alleged that Nwaoboshi and his companies illegally acquired a property known as Guinea House on Marine Road in Apapa, Lagos, for the sum of N805 million. The property was claimed to belong to the Delta State Government. The EFCC further alleged that Suiming Electrical Ltd, on behalf of Nwaoboshi and Golden Touch Construction Project Ltd, had transferred a portion of the payment for the property. The funds were believed to be proceeds from their illicit activities.