A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on Friday discharged Senator Peter Nwaoboshi of the N322million money laundering charge filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke held that the commission could not prove the elements of the offences for which it charged the lawmaker.
Nwaoboshi, a Chieftain of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) represents Delta North in the upper chamber.
The court also discharged Nwaoboshi’s firms – Golden Touch Construction Project Ltd and Suiming Electrical Ltd – on the same ground.
The defendants were arraigned in 2018 before Justice Mohammed Idris who was later elevated to the Court of Appeal. They 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.
Nwaoboshi was said to have acquired a property described as Guinea House, Marine Road, in Apapa Lagos, for the sum of N805million.
The prosecution said he reasonably ought to have known that N322million out of the purchase sum formed part of proceeds of an unlawful act.
The sum was said to have been transferred to the vendors by order of Suiming Electrical Ltd.
Suiming Electrical was alleged to have on May 14, 2014, aided Nwaoboshi and Golden Touch to commit money laundering.
However Justice Aneke held, among others, that the prosecution’s case collapsed because “bank officials were not called to testify.”