Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke in the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos held that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) failed to prove the elements of the offence against the lawmaker representing Delta North, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, of the allegation of laundering N322 million.
He also cleared Nwaoboshi’s two firms – Golden Touch Construction Project Ltd and Suiming Electrical Ltd.
The judge held, among other things, that the EFCC’s case collapsed because “bank officials were not called to testify” and prove the money laundering charge.
Nwaoboshi, a chieftain of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), was arraigned alongside his companies in 2018 before Justice Mohammed Idris who was later elevated to the Court of Appeal.
This necessitated a re-arraignment before Justice Aneke in October 2018.
The prosecution had alleged that Nwaoboshi and Golden Touch Construction Projects purchased a 12-storey building property, known as Guinea House, on Marine Road in the Apapa area of Lagos for N805 million between May and June 2014.
According to the anti-graft agency, N322 million out of the N805 million was part of proceeds of “an unlawful act of fraud”.
The EFCC alleged that the N322 million was transferred to the property’s vendor on the order of Suiming Electricals which was accused of aiding the accused to commit money laundering on or about May 14, 2014.
The alleged offences contravened the provisions of Sections 15 (2) (d) and 18 (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011, it claimed.
But Senator Nwaoboshi had pleaded not guilty to the charge