The Supreme Court has set aside the conviction of Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, who was sentenced to seven years imprisonment for fraud and money laundering.
Nwaoboshi represented Delta North in the upper chamber of the 9th National Assembly.
The apex court has ordered his immediate release from Ikoyi Custodial Centre in Lagos, where he is currently being held.
Delivering judgement on Friday, the Supreme Court also freed the two companies – Golden Touch Construction Project Ltd and Suiming Electrical Ltd – tried alongside the former lawmaker on a two-count charge brought against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
In a split decision of four-to-one, the Supreme Court set aside the July 1, 2022 judgment of the Court of Appeal, Lagos, which had reversed Nwaoboshi’s earlier discharge and acquittal by a Federal High Court in Lagos.
In a lead judgment by Justice Emmanuel Agim, the apex court held that Nwaobishi and the two companies were unjustly and maliciously prosecuted by the EFCC for committing no offence known to law, and subjected them to criminal trial in relation to civil transaction, needlessly.
The EFCC had accused Nwaoboshi and his companies of illegally acquiring a property named Guinea House on Marine Road, in Apapa, Lagos, for N805million, property said to belong to the Delta State Government.
EFCC had claimed that part of the money paid for the property was transferred by Suiming Electrical Ltd on behalf of Nwaoboshi and Golden Touch Construction Project Ltd, adding that the funds were believed to be proceeds of illicit activities.