Corruption trial of Nigerian senator adjourned

Senator Peter Nwaoboshi
Senator Peter Nwaoboshi

A Federal High Court Lagos on Monday adjourned until May 28 and May 30, for the continuation of trial of a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, Peter Nwaoboshi, over alleged money laundering charges.

Mr Nwaoboshi is the senator representing Delta North in the National Assembly.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had re-arraigned him on October 5, 2018, before Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke, along with Golden Touch Construction Projects Ltd and Suiming Electricals for alleged N322 million money laundering.

He had pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The charge which was formerly before Justice Mohammed Idris, is now before Mr Aneke, following the elevation of Mr Idris to the Court of Appeal.

Meanwhile, the case which was slated for the continuation of trial could not proceed on Monday, as the prosecution said it was informed that the defendant would not be available, as such could not produce its witness.

Consequently, the court adjoined the case until May 28 and May 30, for the continuation of trial.

In the charge, the prosecution alleged that Mr Nwaoboshi and Golden Touch Construction Projects purchased a 12-storey property known as Guinea House on Marine Road in Apapa, Lagos for N805 million between May and June 2014.

The anti-graft agency claimed that N322 million out of the N805million was part of proceeds of “an unlawful act, to wit: fraud.”

The EFCC alleged that the N322 million was transferred to the property’s vendor on the order of Suiming Electricals, which was accused of aiding Nwaoboshi and Golden Touch Construction Projects to commit money laundering on or about May 14, 2014.

According to EFCC, Mr Nwaoboshi got a contract through Bilderberg Enterprises Ltd to supply new construction equipment to the state Direct Labour Agency at N1,580,000,000.

It said that the company allegedly imported and supplied used construction equipment rather than brand new ones despite receiving full payment.

The EFCC said Mr Nwaoboshi, with the proceeds, bought the 12-floor building from Delta State Government at N805 million in the name of Golden Touch Construction Projects.

The commission said the senator had “no visible legitimate business venture to generate the amount spent to purchase the said property.”

The alleged offence contravenes the provisions of sections 15(2)(d) and 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011.

(NAN)

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