Lagos Federal High Court Judge Chukwujekwu Aneke yesterday acquitted and acquitted a leader of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Senator Peter Nwaoboshi on the 322 million naira money laundering charge. against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The judge ruled that the prosecution’s case had collapsed when he failed to call essential witnesses and provide concrete evidence to prove and establish his claims.
Nwaoboshi, a senator representing Delta North, was arrested in 2018 by the EFCC on two counts of money laundering.
Two companies named Golden Touch Construction Project Ltd. and Suiming Electrical Ltd.
He had pleaded not guilty to the charges and was released on bail.
The trial began before Judge Mohammed Idris on April 25, 2015, but after Idris was elevated to the Court of Appeal in June 2018, the case resumed on October 5, 2018 before Judge Aneke.
The EFCC said Nwaoboshi committed the offenses between May and June 2014, in Lagos.
He reportedly acquired a property described as Guinea House, Marine Road, in Apapa Lagos, for N805 million.
The prosecution said lawmakers should reasonably have known that 322 million naira of the purchase sum was part of the proceeds of an illegal act.
The sum was reportedly transferred to the vendors on the orders of Suiming Electrical Ltd.
The prosecution filed their written addresses on January 21, 2021, while the defendants filed their written addresses on February 3 and 9, 2021.
Delivering his judgment yesterday, Judge Aneke reviewed the evidence presented by witnesses and assessed the essential elements of the charges.
The court ruled that the evidence provided by PW.1 (Prince Kpokpogri) was based on an appeal from an anonymous appellant, adding that he did not produce the documents provided to him by said appellant. , who was never called as a witness to testify.
He considered that the testimony of the first prosecution witness could therefore only be characterized as hearsay.
“PW2, Abubakar, works with Nexim Bank and the summary of his evidence was that the sum of 1.2 billion naira was awarded to the third defendant on his claim for a period of five years with interest.
“That the principal, which is 1.2 billion Naira, has been repaid, while over 700 million Naira in interest has been paid and only about 24 million Naira is in arrears on said loan.
“He said that at the time of his testimony, the term of the loan had not expired. The conclusion of his testimony was that the loan had been regularly and correctly granted to the defendant ”, underlined the judge.
The court ruled that PW2’s evidence had high probative value.