N322M Fraud: EFCC Go After Senator Nwaoboshi, Despite His Defection To APC
Senator Nwaoboshi, despite his defection to the APC, is being investigated by the EFCC for a $322 million fraud.
On June 18, 2021, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission announced that it would challenge Delta North Senator Peter Nwaoboshi’s victory. Nwaoboshi was recently discharged and acquitted of alleged fraud to the tune of N322 million.
Mr Wilson Uwujaren, the EFCC’s spokesman, stated this in an interview with Saturday PUNCH on Friday.
During a brief phone interview with one of our journalists, Uwujaren said, “We will be taking Senator Nwaoboshi’s case to the Court of Appeal.”
This comes after President Muhammadu Buhari (retd) personally welcomed Nwaoboshi into the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Furthermore, the Niger Delta Development Commission accused Nwaoboshi last year of using 11 firms as fronts to gain a N3.6 billion contract from the NDDC and then failing to fulfill the deal, an allegation the senator has disputed.
The EFCC charged Nwaoboshi before a Federal High Court in Lagos in 2018 with a N322 million scam involving two of his firms.
Nwaoboshi and two firms, Golden Touch Construction Project Limited and Suiming Electrical Ltd, were charged with paying N805 million for Guinea House on Marine Road in Apapa, Lagos. The EFCC claimed that N322 million of the N805 million was part of the fraud profits.
The EFCC, on the other hand, used hearsay as evidence, according to Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke.
According to a statement by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, the lawmaker, who is a former state chairman of the PDP, was greeted by the President one week after his acquittal.
“President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday in Abuja welcomed Senator Peter Nwaoboshi to the APC after he left the Peoples Democratic Party, stating ‘you are welcome to the progressives’ family,’ according to the statement.
“Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, presented Senator Nwaoboshi, representing Delta North District in Delta State, to President Buhari and the National Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee at the State House.
Senator Nwaoboshi’s decision to join the APC, according to the Deputy Senate President, “clearly proves that the CECPC’s efforts are bearing fruit.” Members of the senator’s party greeted him with open arms.”
Investigation into why Nwaoboshi defected to the APC.
Meanwhile, a Saturday PUNCH investigation found that Nwaoboshi defected from the PDP to the APC in order to pursue his ambition of competing for deputy governor of Delta State in 2023.
When Nwaoboshi visited with President Buhari at Aso Villa on Friday, he declared his defection.
Omo-Agege, who belongs from Delta Central and is rumored to be seeking the governorship seat, was alleged to have joined the lawmaker on the visit.
Nwaoboshi’s defection comes just two days after the state PDP suspended him for a month due to anti-party activities.
The action was necessary, according to the PDP, because of Nwaoboshi’s recent “romance with an opposition party, the APC, verbal recklessness, and unprovoked statements, which the state PDP Working Committee strongly sees as absolutely inappropriate and worrisome.”
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, whom he succeeded in the Senate in 2015, is also believed to have been the target of verbal insults by the lawmaker.
In comparison to his predecessors, James Ibori and Emmanuel Uduaghan, Nwaoboshi recently evaluated Okowa’s government as underperforming.
Meanwhile, Okowa responded to the legislator on Thursday, describing him as a “stranger.” Nwaoboshi should not be comparing him to his predecessors, according to the governor.
The Delta State PDP, in response to his defection, disputed reports that Nwaoboshi defected since he had already been suspended.
“We wish to state for the avoidance of doubt that Senator Peter Nwaoboshi had already been duly suspended by the state Working Committee of our party following his recent romance with an opposition party, his verbal recklessness, and unprovoked utterances against the person of His Excellency, Dr Ifeanyi Oko,” the party said in a statement signed by its state Publicity Secretary, Dr Ifeanyi Osuoza.
“The senator’s indecent behavior revealed him as indecent and lacking in the discipline that the PDP values so highly. To salvage the PDP’s soul in the state, the party has to rise to the situation by treating him like a crazy cow in a china shop and managing his exit through suspension.
“As a result of his inescapable exit, the party has experienced a surge of euphoria, as devoted and loyal party members perceive the move as good riddance to rotten garbage.”