The Supreme Court has over-turned the conviction of Peter Nwaoboshi, a former senator who represented Delta north.
He had been sentenced to seven years in jail.
In the judgment delivered on Friday, four of the five justices of the apex court held that the ex-lawmaker was unjustly and maliciously prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The EFCC had arraigned Nwaoboshi and his two firms – Golden Touch Construction Project Ltd and Suiming Electrical Ltd — in 2018 before Mohammed Idris, a judge who was later elevated to the court of appeal.
They were then re-arraigned before Chukwujekwu Aneke on October 5, 2018.
FROM APPEAL COURT TO SUPREME COURT
In the two-count charge marked FHC/L/117C/18, the EFCC alleged that the defendants laundered N322 million in 2014.
While dismissing the case, Aneke had ruled that the anti-graft agency failed to prove the elements of the offences for which it charged the ex-senator.
However, EFCC appealed the judgment and Nwaoboshi was sentenced to seven years imprisonment in July 2022.
Consequently, Nwaoboshi lodged an appeal before the supreme court.
In the lead judgment, Emmanuel Agim, supreme court justice, held that Nwaobishi and his two companies were unjustly and maliciously prosecuted by the EFCC for committing offences that were unknown to law.
He also ruled that they were subjected to a needless criminal trial in relation to a civil transaction.
The court also ordered Nwaoboshi’s immediate release from Ikoyi prison where he is being remanded.