Respite came the way of Senator Peter Nwaoboshi on Friday, as the Supreme Court, quashed hi seven years prison sentence.
The apex court, which invalidated the money laundering charge the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, preferred against the lawmaker who hitherto represented Delta North Senatorial District, ordered his immediate release from prison custody.
It will be recalled that the Court of Appeal in Lagos had in a judgement it delivered on July 1, 2022, sentenced Senator Nwaoboshi to prison after it convicted him on a two-count charge the EFCC brought against him.
The appellate court equally ordered that his two companies- Golden Touch Construction Project Ltd and Suiming Electrical Ltd- be wound up, in line with the provision of Section 22 of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2021
However, the Supreme Court, in a split decision of four-to-one, nullified the judgement of the appellate court.
It upheld the initial verdict of the Federal High Court in Lagos State, which discharged and acquitted the embattled former lawmaker of the charge against him.
The apex court, in its lead judgement that was delivered by Justice Emmanuel Agim, equally upturned the appellate court’s decision against Nwaoboshi’s companies.
It held that the appellants were unjustly and maliciously prosecuted by the anti-graft agency for allegedly committing offences that were unknown to the law.
It held that the EFCC subjected the ex-lawmaker and his companies to needless criminal trial, in relation to a civil transaction.
The EFCC had alleged that Nwaoboshi and his companies illegally acquired a property named Guinea House on Marine Road, in Apapa, Lagos, for N805 million, which belonged to the Delta State government.
According to the prosecution, part of the money that was used to pay for the property, was transferred by Suiming Electrical Ltd on behalf of Nwaoboshi and Golden Touch Construction Project Ltd.
The EFCC said it believed that the funds Nwaoboshi and his company used to pay for the property, were proceeds of crime.
Dissatisfied with his conviction and prison sentence, Nwaoboshi, took the case before the Supreme Court where he obtained favourable judgement on Friday.