Appeal Court Sentences Senator Nwaoboshi To Seven Years Imprisonment For Money Laundering

Nwaoboshi Appeals Judgment Sacking Him As Delta North Senator-Elect
A file photo of Senator Peter Nwaoboshi

 

The Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal today July 1, 2022 convicted and sentenced Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, senator representing Delta North Senatorial District at the National Assembly, to 7 years imprisonment.

The Appeal Court also ordered that his two companies, Golden Touch Construction Project Ltd and Suiming Electrical Ltd, be wound up in line with the provisions of Section 22 of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2021.

This ruling followed the success of the appeal by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, challenging the judgment of Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of the Federal High Court which on June 18, 2021 2018 discharged and acquitted the defendants of a two count charge of fraud and money laundering.

EFCC had arraigned the three defendants over the acquisition of a property named Guinea House, Marine Road, in Apapa, Lagos, for N805 million. Part of the money paid to the vendor, precisely a sum of N322 million transferred by Suiming Electrical Ltd on behalf of Nwaoboshi and Golden Touch Construction Project Ltd , was alleged to be part of proceeds of fraud.

But in his judgment, Justice Aneke held that the prosecution failed to call vital witnesses and tender concrete evidence to prove the elements of the offences for which it charged the defendants.


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A statement by EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, disclosed that Justice Aneke was of the opinion that the evidence of PW2 “proved the third defendant obtained a loan of N1.2 billion from Zenith Bank for purchase of additional equipment and as provision of working capital.

“It also proved that the loan of N1.2 billion together with interest of N24 million was properly granted to the third. Nothing else was proved by the complainant or prosecutor in this case,” the judge said.

He claimed a fatal blow was dealt the case of the prosecution by its failure to call officials of Sterling Bank “to testify and probably tender exhibits F and F10”.

Consequently, he discharged and acquitted the defendants.

However, ruling on the EFCC’s appeal today, the Court of Appeal held that the trial judge erred in dismissing the charges against the respondents. It said the prosecution had proved the ingredients of the offence and consequently found the defendants guilty as charged.

Protesters Storm Lagos Court, Accuse Judge Of Bias

Some of the protesters

 

Some protesters on Monday turned up at the premises of the Federal High Court in Lagos over what they described as bias in the handling of a lawsuit filed by Western Lotto Limited.

Chanting solidarity songs, including “We no go gree oh, we want justice, we no go gree”, they marched around the court’s premises demanding justice on behalf of the 3rd to 25th defendants in the suit.

In a Motion on Notice brought pursuant to Section 6(6) of the 1999 Constitution, the 3rd defendant, Premier Lotto Ltd, is specifically seeking three reliefs, including “An order asking the court to decline jurisdiction to entertain, adopt or otherwise give effect to the Terms of Settlement executed between the Plaintiff, Western Lotto Ltd and the 1st Defendant, National Lottery Regulatory Commission.”

In the case being handled by Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke, Western Lotto Limited sued 23 rival lottery firms over alleged infringement on its licence on “Ghana games.”

One of the defendants is Premier Lotto Limited, popularly known as Baba Ijebu Gaming Limited, which belongs to Chief Keshington Adebutu.

Western Lotto Limited belongs to businessman and politician, Senator Buruji Kashamu.

In Dec. 2019, Justice Aneke had granted an order authorising Western Lotto to enter into and search the offices of the defendants for evidence of the alleged infringement on its licence on “Ghana games”.

Meanwhile, Western Lotto Ltd has described the protest as a resort to cheap blackmail and mudslinging.

Hearing in the matter has been fixed for Tuesday.