The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC ) on Friday re-arraigned Senator Peter Nwaoboshi for alleged money laundering.
The commission re-arraigned him along with Golden Touch Construction Projects Limited and Suiming Electricals for alleged N322million fraud.
The charge is before Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of the Federal High Court in Lagos.
The defendants were first arraigned on April 25 before Justice Mohammed Idris, who was later elevated to the Court of Appeal.
The case was re-assigned to Justice Aneke to begin afresh.
Two witnesses, Prince Kpokpogiri and Murtala Abubakar, had testified 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 N805million between May and June 2014.
The anti-graft agency claimed that N322million out of the N805million 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 EFCC, Nwaoboshi, a former Delta State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chairman, got a contract through 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 alleged offence contravenes sections 15(2)(d) and 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 and punishable under Section 15(3).
After pleading not guilty to the charge, Justice Aneke allowed Nwaoboshi to continue on bail based on the terms earlier imposed on him by Justice Idris.
Defence counsel Emmanuel Kachukwu (SAN) urged Justice Aneke order the release of Nwaoboshi’s passport to enable him travel to Indonesia on October 8.
He said the lawmaker would return on October 19.
Granting the request, the judge said the passport should be returned to the court’s registrar by October 23.
Justice Aneke adjourned until October 25 for trial.