The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Friday re-arraigned the senator representing Delta North, Peter Nwaoboshi, before a Lagos Division of the Federal High Court over a N322 million fraud.
Mr Nwaoboshi, a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) member, is facing allegations of conspiracy and money laundering. He pleaded not guilty to the charges.
After his re-arraignment, the judge, C.J Aneke, ordered the release of his international passport to enable him to travel to Indonesia.
Mr Nwaoboshi was first arraigned in April before Mohammed Idris. After the judge was elevated to the Court of Appeal two months later, the case was transferred to Mr Aneke.
Arraigned alongside the senator are Golden Touch Construction Project Limited and Suiming Electricals Limited.
The defence counsel, Emmanuel Kachukwu, a senior advocate of Nigeria, urged the judge to allow the senator to continue with the bail earlier granted him by Mr Idris.
He also urged the judge to order the release of the senator’s passport to enable him to travel to Indonesia on October 8 and return on October 19.
Mr Aneke granted both prayers.
The judge said the passport should be returned to the court’s registrar by October 23 and adjourned the matter till October 25.
In the charges against the defendants, the EFCC claimed Mr Nwaoboshi and Golden Touch Construction Project Limited purchased a property known as Guinea House, Marine Road, Apapa, Lagos for N805m between May and June 2014.
The anti-graft agency claimed that N322 million out of the N805 million, which Mr Nwaoboshi and the firm paid for the property, was part of proceeds of “an unlawful act, to wit: fraud.”
The EFCC alleged that the N322 million was transferred to the vendor of the property on the order of Suiming Electricals Limited.
Suiming Electricals Limited was accused of aiding Mr Nwaoboshi and Golden Touch Construction Project Limited to commit money laundering on or about May 14, 2014.
The prosecution said the defendants acted contrary to sections 18 (a) and15 (2)(d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 and are liable to punishment under Section 15(3) of the same Act.
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