EFCC strengthens case against Nwoboshi, presents additional evidence to court

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Friday, called its third witness in a Federal High Court Lagos, to testify against Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, in the ongoing money laundering matter.

The alleged offence contravenes the provisions of sections 15(2) (d) and 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011.

Nwoboshi, a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senator representing Delta North senatorial district in the National Assembly, it would be recalled, was re-arraigned October 5, 2018, before Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke, along with Golden Touch Construction Projects Ltd, and Suiming Electricals for alleged N322 million money laundering.

The senator, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The charge was formerly before Justice Mohammed Idris, until lately when Justice Aneke took over, following the elevation of the former to the Court of Appeal.

At the resumed hearing, 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.

In his opening address, 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, Eyituoyo Mogbeyiterem, a compliance officer with Zenith Bank Plc.

Mogbeyiterem 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 Olorundare, 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 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 had been adduced.

After listening to the respective counsel, Aneke adjourned the case till October 4 and November 1 for continuation of trial and ruling.

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