Alleged fraud: Court permits Senator to travel abroad for medical treatment

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The Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday granted senator representing Delta North Peter Nwaoboshi permission to travel abroad for medical treatment.

Justice Mohammed Idris directed that his international passport be released to him.

Nwaoboshi’s lawyer Chief Anthony Idigbe (SAN) prayed the court to grant his client permission to embark on a medical appointment scheduled for June 11 in the United States.

Granting the application, Justice Idris held that only the living could stand trial.

The judge ordered that the passport be released to Chief Idigbe and that it must be returned on or before June 20.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) arraigned Nwaoboshi for alleged N322million fraud.

The Senator was charged with two firms – Golden Touch Construction Projects Limited and Suiming Electricals Limited.

The charges border on conspiracy and money laundering.

The EFCC alleged that Nwaoboshi and Golden Touch Construction Projects purchased a 12-storey property known as Guinea House, Marine Road, Apapa, Lagos for N805million between May and June 2014.

The anti-graft agency claimed that N322 million out of the N805 million, which Nwaoboshi and the firm allegedly paid for the property, was part of proceeds of “an unlawful act, to wit: fraud.”

The EFCC alleged that the N322million was transferred to the property’s vendor on the order of Suiming Electricals.

Suiming Electricals was accused of aiding Nwaoboshi and Golden Touch Construction Projects to commit money laundering on or about May 14, 2014.

The prosecution said the defendants acted contrary to sections 18(a) and 15(2)(d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 and are liable to punishment under Section 15(3) of the same Act.

According to EFCC, Nwaoboshi, a former Delta State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chairman, got a contract through one of his companies, Bilderberg Enterprises Ltd, to supply new construction equipment to the state Direct Labour Agency at N1, 580,000,000.

The company allegedly imported and supplied used construction equipment rather than brand new ones despite receiving full payment.

EFCC said Nwaoboshi, with the proceeds, bought the 12-floor building from Delta State Government at N805million 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 defendants pleaded not guilty.

Justice Idris adjourned until June 20 for trial.

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Godwin Okafor is a Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. He has over 16 years experience in financial journalism. His experience cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career at Business Day, Nigeria and founded Naija247news Media in 2010. Godwin holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. He is an alumni of Lagos Business School and a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists). Over the years, he has won a number of journalism awards. Godwin is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.

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