The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Friday re-arraigned Senator Peter Nwaoboshi from Delta state before a Federal High Court in Lagos for allegedly laundering N322 million.
The charge which was formerly before Justice Mohammed Idris, is now before Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke, following the elevation of Idris to the Court of Appeal.
Two witnesses, Prince Kpokpogiri and Murtala Abubakar, had earlier given evidences before Justice Idris.
The prosecution alleged that 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 N805 million 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, which was accused of aiding Nwaoboshi and Golden Touch Construction Projects to commit money laundering on or about May 14, 2014.
According to the EFCC, Nwaoboshi, a former Delta State PDP Chairman, got a contract through Bilderberg Enterprises Ltd., to supply construction equipment to the Delta 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 that Nwaoboshi, with the proceeds, bought the 12-floor building from the Delta State Government at N805 million in the name of Golden Touch Construction Projects.
The commission said that 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.
After pleading not guilty to the charge, Aneke allowed Nwaoboshi to continue on bail, based on terms earlier imposed on him by Justice Idris.
The Defence Counsel, Mr Emmanuel Kachukwu (SAN), urged Justice Aneke to order the release of Nwaoboshi’s passport to enable him travel abroad on Oct. 8.
He said that the accused would return on Oct. 19.
The court, subsequently, granted the request, directing that Nwaoboshi’s passport should be returned to the court’s registrar by Oct. 23.
Aneke adjourned the matter until Oct. 25 for trial.