A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has declared Benedict Peters, founder of Aiteo Energy Resources innocent of money laundering charges. Peters, had previously faced charges inn another court for allegedly bribing election officials, which were later dropped. This was disclosed in a press statement by the company released today.
What the judge said
In dismissing the case, Justice Valentine Ashi ruled that the “said assets and properties having been legitimately acquired by the defendant cannot be forfeited to the Government under any circumstances.”
The Judge further ruled “restraining any person, security agency or authority from disturbing the defendant’s quiet enjoyment of his assets and properties having been found to be legitimately acquired.”
The assets listed include 58 Harley House, Marylebone Road, London worth 2,800,000 million pounds, apartment 4, 5, Arlington Street, London worth 11,800,000 million pounds, Flat 5, 83-86, Prince Albert Road, London worth 3,750,000 million pounds and also other assets of Aiteo Energy Resources worth over $4.023billion.
Also listed by and affected by the judgment are monies in Account No 105277 in FBN Bank (UK) in the name of Mr. B and Mrs. N. Peters, monies in Account No 107127 in FBN Bank (UK) of Walworth Properties Ltd, the sum of 36,674.7 pounds held on behalf of defendant in the client Account of Clyde and Co. LLP , London, the sum of 40,620 pounds held in the correspondent Bank Account at Ghana International Bank, London and shares in Walworth Properties Limited, Rosewood Investments and Colinwood Limited.
AITEO Group was founded in 2008 and has significant business interests in oil and gas exploration and production; bulk petroleum storage; refining of petroleum products; trading, marketing and supply as well as power generation and distribution.
The Aiteo Group led a consortium of investors to purchase OML 29 and the 97-kilometre Nembe Creek Trunk Line pipeline from Royal Dutch Shell Plc for $2.9 billion. the Nembe Creek Trunk Line which evacuates crude from the Niger Delta to the Atlantic coast for export.