Nigerian senator challenges court order to forfeit properties, bank accounts

Senator Peter Nwaoboshi in court
Senator Peter Nwaoboshi

The senator representing Delta North, Peter Nwaoboshi, on Wednesday, filed a suit asking the Federal High Court Abuja to vacate its earlier interim forfeiture order on his assets granted to the federal government.

This followed an interim forfeiture order by Justice Taiwo Taiwo, on July 5, giving the lawmaker or anyone who might have owned the seized assets 30 days to convince the court why they should not be permanently forfeited to the Nigerian government.

The Special Presidential Investigation Panel on the Recovery of Public Property (SPIP) had taken temporary possession of several properties allegedly owned by Mr Nwaoboshi.

In a motion on notice by Counsel to the senator, Robert Clarke, SAN, on Wednesday, Mr Nwaoboshi urged the court to set aside the ruling.

Mr Taiwo, who adjourned the matter till August 19, said the decision was to give all parties the room to file all the necessary processes in the interest of justice.

The court made an initial order for the confiscation of 14 properties and 22 bank accounts linked to Mr Nwaoboshi.

The bank accounts were reportedly traced to Zenith Bank, UBA, Access Bank and Sterling Bank, and they were all joined in the suit.

The presidential panel, whose head, Okoi Obono-Obla, is currently enmeshed in certificate forgery and corruption allegations, had on July 14, taken possession of Mr Nwaoboshi’s assets and bank accounts.

PREMIUM TIMES reported at the weekend that the presidency had given directive that Mr Obono-Obla should be relieved of his appointments “immediately” following the allegations.

The newspaper also reported that the presidency further reported also directed that the embattled SPIP chairman be investigated by the ICPC.

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