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Construction companies, Senator docked over N805million fraud

Senator Peter Nwaoboshi was docked before the court alongside two construction companies: Golden Touch Construction Project Ltd and Suiming Electrical Ltd by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a two-count charge of money laundering and fraud.

Justice Mohammed Idris of the Federal High Court in Lagos yesterday remanded the senator in Ikoyi prisons over an alleged N805 million fraud.

Nwaoboshi, a People’s Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain is to remain behind bars until Friday, April 27 when the judge will decide whether or not to release him on bail.

According to the charge with No: FHC/L/117C/2018, the commission claimed that the politician committed the offences between May and June 2014 in Lagos. The EFCC also accused the senator of acquiring a property described as Guinea House, Marine Road, in Apapa Lagos, for the sum of N805 million when he reasonably ought to have known that N322 million out of the purchase sum formed part of proceeds of an unlawful act.

The EFCC maintained that the sum was transferred to the vendors by order of Suiming Electrical Ltd. The anti-graft agency further alleged in the charge that Suiming Electrical on May 14, 2014, aided Nwaoboshi and Golden Touch which is one of the construction companies to commit money laundering.

The offences are contrary to Sections 15(2), (d) , 15 (3) and 18 (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011. Senator Nwaoboshi, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges. Following the plea of the accused person, the EFCC counsel, Mohammed Abubakar, requested a trial date. But the defence lawyer, Dr. Victoria Azinge (SAN) urged the court to grant his client bail on liberal terms. Though the prosecutor opposed the application, stating that the application was not yet ripe for hearing considering the fact that the commission was served with the motion just yesterday (April 24), the judge, however stood down the matter for two hours to enable the EFCC file its response to the bail application after Dr. Azinge informed him that the prosecution was served with the application on April 23, but refused service.

When the court resumed hearing of the case, the defence counsel urged the court to grant the accused person on self-recognition or on liberal terms. But the anti-graft agency’s lawyer urged the court to decline bail based on the gravity of the offence for which the Senator is charged for.

Abubakar also informed the court that the accused person is also facing other charges and that if granted bail he may interfere in ongoing investigation. After listening to the lawyers, Justice Idris adjourned the case till Friday for ruling.

Credit: Leadership

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