Despite decamping to the ruling All progressive Congress (APC) ,a Nigerian senator, Peter Nwaoboshi, has been sentenced to seven years in prison by the Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal.
The senator, who currently represents Delta North senatorial district, was convicted on a two-count charge of fraud and money laundering.
Similarly, the court also ordered that his two companies, Golden Touch Construction Project Limited and Suiming Electrical Limited, be wound up in line with Section 22 of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2021.
Making the judgement public, is the spokesperson of Nigeria’s antigraft agency, EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, in a statement on Friday through the agency’s official Twitter handle.
In 2021, Senator Nwawas accused by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) of using 11 companies as fronts to secure for himself a N3.6 billion contract in the commission. The contract was not executed and the money was not refunded.
The past NDDC spokesperson, Charles Odili, had said the contract was the “biggest single case of looting of the Commission’s resources.”
In 2018, in a bid to escape judgement. Decamped to the ruling Progressive Congress after the EFCC in suit number FHC/L/117C/18 arraigned the three defendants for acquiring a property named Guinea House, Marine Road, in Apapa, Lagos, for N805 million. The agency said that N322 million of the money was part of the proceeds of fraud.
However, Barely 24 hours after President Muhammadu Buhari welcomed him to the APC, the senator and his companies were discharged and acquitted by Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke and the charges were dismissed – in June 2018.
The judge ruled that the EFCC failed to prove the elements of the offences for which it charged the lawmaker.
The EFCC appealed the high court’s ruling and was successful at the appellate court, leading to the sentencing of the lawmaker.
According to the EFCC spokesperson Wilson Uwujuren, 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.”
Mr Nwaoboshi is among the over 50 senators seeking another term in the parliament. He won the APC ticket to contest again in the coming election.