Abuja, Nigeria – Nigeria’s Supreme Court on Thursday granted a reprieve to Senator Peter Nwaoboshi who was earlier sentenced to seven years imprisonment for money laundering.
The apex court reversed the downward hearing date in the appeal challenging his imprisonment for corruption.
Following an application by his lawyers, the court brought forward the hearing date in his appeal against his conviction from November 24, 2024, to February 9, 2023.
Nwaoboshi was also granted bail pending the hearing of his appeal.
Nwaoboshi, through his counsel, Kanu Agabi (SAN), a former Attorney General of the Federation, had appealed to the Supreme Court to fast-track the hearing of his case against his imprisonment, Daily Post reports.
In his argument, Agabi informed the panel of justices of the court led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Olukayode Ariwoola that Nwaoboshi is a senator and pleaded for a quick hearing of his client’s appeal.
He noted that Nwaoboshi is a senatorial candidate for Delta North in the 2023 elections.
The appeal is challenging the seven years of imprisonment slammed on him on July 1, 2022, by the Court of Appeal in Lagos.
According to Agabi, his client may be made to complete the jail term before his innocence or otherwise could be decided by the apex court.
However, after the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and other parties did not raise objections to the application, the Chief Justice reversed the November 24, 2024 date to determine the innocence or guilt of the senator in the corruption charges against him at an earlier date.
Recall that in July 2022, a Lagos Division of the Court of Appeal convicted and sentenced Senator Nwaoboshi to seven years imprisonment for money laundering.
In the judgment delivered by Hon. Justice Abdullahi Mahmud Bayero and affirmed by Justices Obande Festus Ogbujinya and Peter O. Affen, the court also ordered that the two companies of the Senator representing Delta North Senatorial District at the National Assembly be wound up.
The companies are Golden Touch Construction Project Ltd and Suiming Electrical Ltd, in line with the provisions of Section 22 of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2021.
The ruling was sequel to an appeal to challenge the judgement of Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of the Federal High Court, which on June 18, 2018, discharged and acquitted Nwaoboshi of two counts of fraud and money laundering.
“The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC had arraigned the three defendants over the acquisition of a property named Guinea House, Marine Road, Apapa, Lagos, for N805 million. Part of the money paid to the vendor, precisely a sum of N322 million, transferred by Suiming Electrical Ltd on behalf of Nwaoboshi and Golden Touch Construction Project Ltd, was alleged to be part of the proceeds of fraud.”