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(JUST IN) Alleged N322m fraud charge: Court frees Senator Nwaoboshi

By Francis IWUCHUKWU  

Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of a Federal High Court sitting at Ikoyi, Lagos State, Nigeria, on Friday discharged Senator Peter Nwaoboshi of the N322million money laundering charge filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Delivering judgment, Justice Aneke insisted that the agency failed to prove the elements of the offences for which it charged the lawmaker.

The court equally discharged Nwaoboshi, a Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, who represents Delta North in the upper chamber, alongside his firms, Golden Touch Construction Project Ltd and Suiming Electrical Ltd – on the same ground.

It would be recalled that the defendants 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.

According to the two-count charge designated  FHC/L/117C/18., the EFCC alleged that the defendants committed the offence between May and June 2014, in Lagos.

The Senator was further alleged to have acquired a property described as Guinea House, Marine Road, in Apapa Lagos, for the sum of N805million.

The anti-graft agency had posited that he reasonably ought to have known that N322million out of the purchase sum formed part of proceeds of an unlawful act.

The sum was said to have been transferred to the vendors by order of Suiming Electrical Ltd.

Suiming Electrical was alleged to have on May 14, 2014, aided Nwaoboshi and Golden Touch to commit money laundering.

But Justice Aneke held, among others, that the prosecution’s case collapsed because “bank officials were not called to testify.”

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