The Federal High Court in Lagos on Friday granted bail on self-recognizance to the senator representing Delta North in the National Assembly, Peter Nwaoboshi, who was charged with an alleged fraud of N322m. Justice Mohammed Idris ordered him to perfect the bail with two sureties who was each to sign a bail bond of N50m within 72 hours.
The lawmaker was also asked to deposit his passport in the custody of the court pending the conclusion of the case. By this, the senator would not travel out of the country without the court’s permission until the end of the case.
Justice Idris adjourned till June 13 and 20, 2018 for commencement of trial.
Nwaoboshi walked out of the courtroom, greeted with shouts of “Oshimiri 1” by his loyalists.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had on Wednesday arraigned him alongside two firms on two counts bordering on conspiracy and money laundering.
The firms, listed as second and third defendants are Golden Touch Construction Project Limited and Suiming Electricals Limited.
The EFCC, in the charges, claimed that Nwaoboshi and Golden Touch Construction Project Limited purchased a property known as Guinea House, Marine Road, Apapa, Lagos, for N805m between May and June 2014.
The anti-graft agency claimed that N322m out of the N805m, which Nwaoboshi and the firm paid, was part of proceeds of “an unlawful act, to wit: fraud.”
The EFCC alleged that the N322m was transferred to the vendor of the property on the order of Suiming Electricals Limited.
Suiming Electricals Limited was accused of aiding Nwaoboshi and Golden Touch Construction Project Limited to commit money laundering on or about May 14, 2014.
The prosecution said the defendants acted contrary to sections 18(a) and15(2)(d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 and are liable to punishment under Section 15(3) of the same Act.
But upon their arraignment, the defendants pleaded not guilty.
The senator who is senate committee chairman on Niger Delta Affairs (with the NDDC as star place) has been trying to prove that the N3.4Bn contract he won at the NDDC to supply chairs and desks was within due process. He has also struggled to show that contracts going to his relations from the NDDC were not infuenced by him.