The Senator representing Delta North in the National Assembly, Peter Nwaoboshi, who has been on the run since he was convicted by the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division and sentenced to seven years imprisonment for money laundering, is finally in prison. PUNCH the reports
The lawmaker, who was apprehended by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission at a Lagos Hospital on Monday, February 6, was remanded at the Ikoyi Custodial Center to commence his remand on Wednesday, February 8, 2023.
The EFCC made the announcement in a statement on its website on Wednesday.
PUNCH reports that in a judgment delivered by the Court of Appeal on July 1, 2022, Nwaoboshi was sentenced to prison after being convicted of two counts of money laundering and ordering the liquidation of his two companies, Golden Touch Construction Project. Ltd and Suiming Electrical Ltd, in accordance with the provisions of Section 22 of the Anti-Money Laundering Act, 2021, and assets entrusted to the Federal Government.
But the lawmaker who was not in court at the time of the sentencing went underground and refused to present himself to the Nigerian Correctional Service.
Instead, he approached the Supreme Court, which not only dismissed the appeal to the Supreme Court but also granted him bail pending the decision of his appeal.
But in a unanimous decision on January 27, 2023, the Supreme Court rejected the petition. In the lead judgment delivered by Justice Emmanuel Agim, the apex court asked why Nwaoboshi, who refused to obey the law, would seek leniency from the law.
Justice Tijani Abubakar, in his contribution, admonished the appellant for filing the bail application while he was on the run.
“We must make it very clear to all Nigerians that no one is above the law. The government and the governed are subject to the rule of law. And we must ensure that there is respect for the rule of law,” the judge said.
The judgment of the Court of Appeal that convicted Nwaoboshi was appealed by the EFCC against the judgment of Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of the Federal High Court, Lagos, who on June 18, 2021 dismissed and acquitted the lawmaker and his companies.
Nwaoboshi and his companies illegally acquired a property called Guinea House, Marine Road, Apapa, Lagos for N805 million. Part of the money paid for the property was transferred by Suiming Electrical Ltd on behalf of Nwaoboshi and Golden Touch Construction Project Ltd. The funds are believed to be the proceeds of the convict’s illegal activities.
One of the counts reads: “That you, Peter Nwaoboshi and Golden Touch Construction Projects Limited, between May and June 2014, within the jurisdiction of this honorable court, acquired a property described at Guinea House, Marina Road, Apapa, Lagos. The sum of N805 million, reasonably you should know that the sum of N322 million from the purchase price transferred to the vendors on behalf of Suinming Electricals Limited was part of the proceeds of an illegal fraudulent activity and as a result you committed an offense against Section 15(2)(d) of the Prohibition of Money Laundering Act 2011 (as amended) and punished according to article 3 of paragraph (15) of the same Law.