24th April, 2017
Justice Abdulaziz Anka of the Federal High Court Lagos on Monday ordered temporary forfeiture of a 12-storey building located at 27, Marine Road, Apapa, belonging to a People’s Democratic Party (PDP) senator representing Delta North Senatorial District, Peter Nwaoboshi, to the Federal Government.
The court order was sequel to an application filed before the court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against Senator Nwaoboshi and his two companies; Golden Touch Construction Project Limited and Bilderberg Enterprises Limited.
Urging the court to grant the application, EFCC counsel, Chia-yakua, said the application was pursuant to section 44(2)(k) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), and Section 28 and 29 of the EFCC (establishment) Act 2004.
The EFCC counsel further told the court that the Commission received a petition from an anti-corruption group, ‘Anti-Corruption and Integrity Forum’, against the senator and his companies on alleged money laundering.
The EFCC in an affidavit in support of the application deposed to by Garuba Yusuf Abubakar stated that upon receiving the petition several investigations were conducted on the contents of the petition.
These include making enquiries from Code of Conduct Bureau Abuja, banks, Delta State Governor’s office, Delta State Tenders Board, Nigeria Customs Service, Lagos State Ministry of Lands, Federal Inland Revenue Services, and Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), with a view to trace movement of funds suspected to be proceeds of illegal activities, source of funds, and the beneficiaries.
The deponent stated that sometimes in 2010, the Tender Board of Delta State awarded a contract to the senator’s second company Bilderberg Enterprises Limited to purchase new construction equipment for Delta State Direct Labour Agency, at the sum of N1.580 billion. But rather than buying new equipment, the company only imported and supplied used equipment to the agency , while the Delta State government fully paid for a new one.
The deponent further stated that upon investigation, it was revealed that the senator moved the proceeds to various accounts linked to him, and his company bidded and bought the said 12-storey building formerly known as Guinea House, located at 27, Marine Road, Apapa, Lagos at the sum of N805 million, with the used of his first company, Golden Touch Construction Project Limited, adding that a response from the Secretary to Delta State government showed the sale of the building to the senator’s company.
He also stated that the Senator completed and submitted the Code of Conduct Bureau Asset Declaration Form on June 19, 2015, where he stated that he acquired the said Guinea House, Apapa, by being a Director in the Golden Touch Construction Projects Limited. When his team wrote to Corporate Affairs Commission CAC seeking information on the corporate details of the company, it was revealed that the Senator is neither a shareholder or director in the company, while the purported directors and shareholders, Nwanbuoku Ike and Emma Ekpon, equally in their judicial statements, denied knowledge of being the directors and shareholders of the company, and that the presence of their names in the CAC documents was forged.
The deponent also averred that further investigation revealed that the Senator’s Bank Verification Number (BVN) has 20 bank accounts he operates in Nigeria, while his private companies through BVN have 23 bank accounts.
He stated further that he was informed by E. E. Iheanancho, a lawyer with the Commission on April 6, 2017, that an order of the court attaching the said 12-storey building to the Commission to prevent its disposal pending the conclusion of the investigation and when a criminal charge will be filed against Senator Nwaoboshi and his companies is needed.
Justice Anka after listening to the submission of the EFCC counsel, ordered that the 12-storey building located at 27, Marine Road, Apapa, Lagos, belonging to Senator Nwaoboshi be temporarily forfeited to the Federal, Government pending the outcome of investigation by EFCC.