A Federal High Court in Lagos Friday returned Senator Peter Nwaoboshi’s International passport to enable him go on a medical trip abroad.
Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke granted Nwaoboshi’s application for the release of his passport during his trial in an alleged N322 million money laundering charge brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Nwoboshi, a People’s Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain, represents Delta North in the upper chamber of the National Assembly.
The EFCC re-arraigned him on October 5, 2018, before Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke, along with Golden Touch Construction Projects Ltd, and Suiming Electricals for alleged N322 million money laundering.
He pleaded not guilty.
The charge which was formerly before Justice Mohammed Idris, is now before Aneke, following the elevation of the former to the Court of Appeal.
At the resumed hearing of the case yesterday, Mr O. Falaye appeared for the prosecution, while Messrs G.A Mowa, C.K Mmarkwe, and I.O Aniakor appeared for the first to third defendants.
Falaye informed the court that the prosecution had filed additional proof of evidence with respect to its witness, adding that he was ready to proceed.
He then called the third prosecution witness, Mr Eyituoyo Mogbeyiterem, a compliance officer with Zenith Bank Plc.
Mogbeyiterem said he joined Zenith Bank in September 2018, and his schedule of duty included liaising with law enforcement agencies, as well as appearing in court on behalf of the bank when necessary.
He told the court that with respect to the current charge, he was appearing as a representative of the bank and had no personal Interest whatsoever.
The witness testified that he knew the first and third defendants; and that the third defendant was a customer of Zenith Bank, who had a corporate account domiciled in Asaba Branch.
“The first defendant was introduced to the bank, as the Managing Director of the third defendant, as per the account opening document,” he said.
He told the court that he examined the Certified True Copy (CTC) of the account opening package of the third defendant, certified by one John Olorun Dare, also a compliance officer with Zenith Bank.
He said that he also called for the originals of the document from the Asaba Branch, which he compared, and found to be the same.
The witness told the court that the account was opened sometime in 2013.
He told the court that the CTC and the statement of account in the bank’s database were same, adding that he assessed same from the head office, which had a central storage system.
The witness also told the court that he had given his statement to the EFCC in relation to the charge.
The prosecution then sought to tender the document before the court but the defence counsel, raised objection on grounds that there was no sufficient evidence from the said document by the witness.
He also objected that the document had no title, and that the signatory to the document was not the witness, and so, he could not answer to a document to which he was not its author.
Besides, Mowa said that the letter submitted to the commission was not a certified true copy, adding that the witness was not also the author.
On that ground, he urged the court to reject the document and mark same as tendered and rejected.
Other defence counsel aligned themselves with the submission of Mowa.
In response, the prosecutor urged the court to allow the witness tender the document as sufficient facts has been adduced.
After listening to the respective counsel, Justice Aneke adjourned till October 4 and November 1 continuation of trial and ruling.
In the charge, 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 N805 million between May and June 2014.
The anti-graft agency claimed that N322 million out of the N805 million was part of proceeds of “an unlawful act and fraud.”