By Sorunke Abiodun | Lagos | PressTv
AS a part of the high profile corruption trial in the country, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi was indicted in a N322 million money laundering saga.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on June 28, 2019, called its third witness in a Federal High Court Lagos, in the trial of Senator Nwaoboshi who is facing money laundering charges.
Nwoboshi, a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, is the Senator representing Delta North in the National Assembly.
The Federal High Court in Abuja ordered the interim forfeiture of 11 houses and 22 bank accounts linked to Delta-North Senator, Peter Nwaoboshi.
Justice Taiwo Taiwo made the order on July 2, but a certified true copy of the order was only issued on July 5 (Friday), 2019.
The judge issued the order following an ex parte application by the Special Presidential Investigative Panel for the Recovery of Public Property.
The ex parte application was moved by the panel’s lawyer, Celsus Ukpong, who described the assets as suspicious or suspected to be far beyond the legitimate income of Nwaoboshi. Nwaoboshi, the Zenith Bank, Access Bank, United Bank of Africa and Sterling Bank are joined as the 1st to the 5th respondents respectively in the said ex parte application.
Although, Ukpong had applied for interim forfeiture of 14 landed assets, the judge only granted the request in respect of 11, as he exempted three of them that were without addresses from the order.
The affected properties include, Suiming Electrical Company (RC 1090069) located along Asaba Airport Road, Asaba, Delta State, PON Filling Station, along Asaba Airport Road, Asaba, Delta State and a multi-billion Naira estate under construction at Maryam Babangida Road, Asaba, Delta State.
They also include, Cartage Cinema located at Okpanan Road, beside Rain Oil Petrol Station, Asaba, Delta State, Newbridge Filing Station, along Airport Road, Warri, Delta State, and a house at No. 8, Monu Olarewaju Crescent, GRA, Asaba, Delta State.
The rest are: a multimillion building located at 41, Buma Road, Apapa, Lagos; Guinea House, No. 27, Marina Road, Apapa, Lagos, Plot 3011B, Kuranah Close, Maitama, FCT, Abuja, and Ceedeez School Hall Airport Road, Asaba Delta State.
Nwaoboshi, on Wednesday August 14, filed a suit asking the Federal High Court Abuja to vacate its earlier interim forfeiture order on his assets granted to the Federal Government.
The court, however, on August 26, 2019, dismissed its earlier interim forfeiture order on Senator Nwaoboshi’s assets, including funds in four banks granted to the Federal Government.
In the course of trial, a Federal High Court Lagos, had adjourned the case to May 28 and May 30, 2019 for the continuation of trial but could not proceed on Monday May 29, 2019, as the prosecutor said he was informed that the defendant would not be available, as such could not produce his witness.
Earlier on Monday April 24, 2017, the Federal High Court in Lagos ordered the temporary forfeiture of a 12-storey building at 27 Marine Road, Apapa, belonging to Senator Peter Nwaoboshi until the conclusion of investigations.
The order followed an application by the EFCC and argued by its counsel, George Chia-Yakua, against Senator Nwaoboshi and his two companies: Golden Touch Construction Project Limited, and Bilderberg Enterprises Limited.
Urging the court to grant the application, the EFCC counsel told the court that the application was pursuant to section 44(2)(k) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), and Sections 28 and 29 of the EFCC (Establishment) Act 2004.
He further told the court that the commission had received a petition from the anti-corruption group, ‘Anti-Corruption and Integrity Forum’, against the senator and his companies alleging money-laundering against the senator, who is the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs.
Justice Abdulaziz Anka, after listening to the EFCC counsel, ordered that the property at 27, Marine Road, Apapa, belonging to Senator Nwaoboshi, be temporarily forfeited to the Federal Government.
Also, Nwaoboshi was on April 25, 2018, docked before a Federal High Court in Lagos over alleged money laundering.
He was arraigned alongside two companies, Golden Touch Construction Project Ltd and Suiming Electrical Ltd.
[This Publication includes part of a compendium by Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA) covering corruption cases as at 22nd of November, 2019.]