EFCC Begins Trial Against Senator Nwaoboshi

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Wednesday began its trial against Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, the lawmaker representing Delta North senatorial district at the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos. Nwaoboshi, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, is facing a two-count of conspiracy and money laundering instituted by the EFCC. The anti-graft agency called two prosecution witnesses to testify against the senator. The first witness, one Prince Kpokpogiri, said he petitioned the EFCC after he received an anonymous call and some documents at his office in Asaba, Delta State. Kpokpogiri, who runs a non-governmental organisation and a real estate firm, added that he was subsequently invited to the anti-graft agency’s office in Abuja, to adopt his petition. The prosecution also called its second witness, Murtala Abubakar, to give his testimony before the court. Abubakar said Suiming Electricals Limited, the third defendant, applied for a loan at the Nigerian Export-Import Bank in December 2013, and it was approved in April 2014. The witness, who heads the Enterprise Risk Management Unit at the bank, claimed Senator Nwaoboshi is a former board member of the bank. He alleged that when the meeting to take a decision on the loan request was held, the lawmaker indicated his interest in the transaction and was recused from the deliberation. Abubakar said the EFCC made five requests to the bank on Suiming Electricals, starting from June 2017, in respect of the loan transaction granted to the company. He added that the company met all the bank’s conditions before the loan was disbursed. The witness said although the third defendant had repaid over N1billion of the loan, it is still a non-performing one. Wemimo Ogunde, the EFCC counsel, requested for an adjournment to enable him assemble the remaining four witnesses. Justice Mohamed Idris granted his plea and adjourned the matter till July 2 and 3, for the continuation of trial.   Additional reporting from Channels Television
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