Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of the Federal High Court in Lagos, has discharged Senator Peter Nwaoboshi of the N322 million money laundering charge filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
In his ruling on Friday, the judge noted that the EFCC failed to prove any wrongdoing in the charge it brought against the lawmaker.
He also stated that the commission’s case collapsed because “bank officials were not called to testify.”
Nwaoboshi, a Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, representing Delta North in the upper chamber, was being prosecuted for an alleged N322 million money laundering charge by the EFCC.
The judge also discharged Nwaoboshi’s two firms, Golden Touch Construction Project Ltd and Suiming Electrical Ltd, on the same ground.
The defendants were first arraigned in 2018 before Justice Mohammed Idris, who was later elevated to the Court of Appeal and were then re-arraigned before Justice Aneke on October 5, 2018.
In the two-count charge marked FHC/L/117C/18, the EFCC alleged that the defendants committed the offence between May and June 2014, in Lagos.
The lawmaker was said to have acquired a property described as Guinea House located at Marine Road in Apapa, Lagos, for the sum of N805million.
The prosecution argued that N322 million out of the purchase sum formed part of proceeds of an unlawful act, noting that the sum was transferred to the vendors by Suiming Electrical Ltd.
Suiming Electrical was alleged to have on May 14, 2014, aided Nwaoboshi and Golden Touch to commit money laundering.
But in his judgment, Justice Aneke held that, among others, the prosecution’s case collapsed because “bank officials were not called to testify.”