A Federal High Court in Lagos has dismissed the N322million money laundering charges filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against Peter Nwaoboshi, a senator representing the Delta North in the 9th Assembly.
The judgement was given by Chukwujekwu Aneke at the Ikoyi Division of the Federal High Court on Friday.
The judge discharged Mr Nwaoboshi on the premise that the EFCC failed to prove the elements of the offences for which it charged the lawmaker.
Mr Aneke said the case against the lawmaker did not stand because the anti-graft agency failed to produce the principal witnesses that would have aided EFCC’s case against him.
“Bank officials were not called to testify,” Mr Aneke said, explaining one of the reasons the prosecution’s case collapsed.
The judge also discharged Nwaoboshi’s two firms – Golden Touch Construction Project Ltd and Suiming Electrical Ltd – on the same grounds.
In suit number FHC/L/117C/18, the EFCC filed a two-count charge against Mr Nwaoboshi and his two firms for committing a N322 fraud between May and June 2014.
The defendants were first arraigned in 2018 before Mohammed Idris, a Judge of the High Court who is now at the court of Appeal. They were re-arraigned on October 5, 2018 before Mr Aneke.
The anti-graft agency said Mr Nwaoboshi acquired a property described as Guinea House, Marine Road, in Apapa Lagos, for the sum of N805million.
The agency claimed that N322 million out of the N805 million, which Mr Nwaoboshi and the firm paid for the property, was part of proceeds of “an unlawful act, to wit: fraud.”
The EFCC alleged that the N322 million was transferred to the vendor of the property on the order of Suiming Electricals Limited.
Suiming Electricals Limited was accused of aiding Mr Nwaoboshi and Golden Touch Construction Project Limited to commit money laundering on or about May 14, 2014.
Giving the judgement on Friday, Mr Aneke discharged Mr Nwaoboshi and his firms of the charges against him, saying the EFCC failed to prove the case.