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MONEY LAUNDERING: Court remands Senator Nwaoboshi in prison, to rule tomorrow

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By Onozure Dania

LAGOS — JUSTICE Mohammed Idris of a Federal High Court in Lagos, yesterday, remanded Senator Peter Nwaoboshi in Ikoyi prisons custody pending the hearing of his bail application.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, arraigned Senator Nwaoboshi, representing Delta-North Senatorial District on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, before the court over alleged fraud and money laundering.

The lawmaker was arraigned alongside his two companies -Golden Touch Construction Projects Ltd, and Summing Electricals Ltd, on a two-count charge bordering on fraud and money laundering before Justice Mohammed Idris.

The EFCC prosecutor, Mr. M. Salisu Abubakar, said that the senator purchased Guinea House, Marine Road, Apapa, at the sum of N805 million, knowing that the sum of N322 million out of the purchase price forms proceeds of fraud.

The commission said that the defendant committed the alleged offenses between May 14 and June 2014, adding that the sum of N322million, out of the purchase price transferred to the vendors by order of Summing Electricals Ltd, formed part of an unlawful act.

According to the EFCC, the offenses committed are contrary to Sections 15 (2) (d) and 18 (a), of the money laundering (prohibition) Act, 2011 (As amended) and punishable under sections 15 (3) of the same act.

Nwaoboshi pleads not guilty

However, the 60-year-old senator, who is also a lawyer, pleaded not guilty to the two-count charge preferred against him.

The counsel to the senator and second defendant, Mrs Veleria Azinge, SAN, and O. K Nmakwe, urged the court to grant Nwaoboshi bail on self recognition or on the alternative on liberal terms, as he is a serving senator, who has to attend all the Senate proceedings, adding that if he fails to attend the proceedings, the Senate might declare his seat vacant.

The prosecuting counsel for the EFCC, Abubakar Mohammed, told the court that the anti-graft agency filed a counter-affidavit in opposition to  Nwaoboshi’s bail application.

He, however, conceded that the decision to grant the bail was at the judge’s discretion.

After hearing the applications, Mr. Idris adjourned till April 27 for ruling while he ordered that the senator is remanded in Ikoyi Prisons until then.

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