The conviction and sentencing of Peter Nwaoboshi, a former senator who represented Delta north, to seven years imprisonment over money laundering charges, has been quashed by the Supreme Court in a split decision of four-to-one.
The EFCC had dragged the former lawmaker to court after claiming that Nwaoboshi and his companies illegally acquired a property named Guinea House on Marine Road, in Apapa, Lagos, for N805 million, which belonged to the Delta State government.
The anti-graft agency claimed that part of the money used to pay for the property was transferred by Suiming Electrical Ltd on behalf of Nwaoboshi and Golden Touch Construction Project Ltd, adding that it is proceeds of crime.
Senator Nwaoboshi was on July 1, 2022, sentenced to prison after being convicted on the two-count charge the EFCC brought against him.
The appellate court also ordered that his two companies; Golden Touch Construction Project Ltd and Suiming Electrical Ltd- be wound up, in line with the provision of Section 22 of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2021
The Supreme Court has now invalidated the money laundering charge the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, slammed against the former lawmaker and also ordered his immediate release from prison custody.
The apex also upturned the appellate court’s decision against Nwaoboshi’s companies. In the lead judgement delivered by Justice Emmanuel Agim, the apex court held that the appellants were unjustly and maliciously prosecuted by the anti-graft agency for allegedly committing offences that were unknown to the law.
The supreme court was also accused of subjecting the ex-lawmaker and his companies to needless criminal trial, in relation to a civil transaction.