|Chairman People's Democratic Party (Nigeria), Delta State|
|Vice President||Yemi Osinbajo|
|Member of the Senate of Nigeria for Delta North|
9 June 2015 – 9 June 2019
Peter Onyeluka Nwaoboshi (born 1958 in Delta State, Nigeria) is a Nigerian politician. He was the senator representing Delta North senatorial district in the Nigerian Senate. He is a senator of the 8th and 9th republic of the National Assembly in Nigeria respectively. He was sacked shorty after being announced senator elect during the 2019 general elections by a Federal High Court in Abuja as Senator-elect on allegations that he was not validly elected by his political party. The Appeal Court in Abuja however upturned the decision on 30 May 2019. The lead judge held that the Federal High Court that nullified his election had no jurisdiction over the case.
Personal life and education
Peter Nwaoboshi was born in 1958 in Delta State, Nigeria. Nwaoboshi attended St.Thomas Teachers College where he obtained his West African School Certificate in 1976. In 1986, he graduated from University of Benin where he obtained a Bachelor of Laws. He also has a Master of Laws from Delta State University.
Nwaoboshi began his career in 1979 as an aide to Samuel Ogbemudia the then Governor of the now defunct Bendel State. Subsequently, he was appointed Chairman of the Nigerian Railway Corporation. In 1999, he was also a political adviser to Governor James Ibori. In 2000, he was appointed Commissioner for Agriculture and Special Duties in Delta State where he served in that position till 2006. In 2008, he was appointed State Chairman of the People's Democratic Party in Delta State. He served for a second term as State Chairman in 2012 and in 2014 resigned to run for senate.
In 2015, he was elected into office as a Senator representing Delta North senatorial district in the National Assembly. He was subsequently appointed Chairman Senate committee on Niger Delta. In 2019, he was re-elected into the senate under the People's Democratic Party.
Court Sack as Senator-elect
On 3 April 2019 a Federal High Court in Abuja sacked Peter Nwaoboshi as Senator-elect of representing Delta North senatorial district on grounds that he was not validly nominated in the party primaries held by the People's Democratic Party in Delta State. He was also ordered by Justice Ahmed Mohammed parading himself as senator-elect. According to the summons filed against him by his opponent in the party primaries Prince Nwoko stated that the People's Democractic party had unlawfully announced him the winner after he was defeated in the primaries, it was also alleged that Nwoboshi hired thugs to cause a mass scare and stampede when he learnt of his brewing defeat.
On 4 April 2019 Peter Nwaoboshi appealed to the judgement sacking him as senator-elect. On 17 April 2019 a Federal High Court in Abuja denied Nwaoboshi's appeal to issue a restraining order to Independent National Electorate Commission stating that it was out of its jurisdiction as an Appeal court had already ruled on the case, consequently the Justice Mahmud Mohammed ordered that Independent National Electorate Commission should withdraw the certificate of return issued to Nwaoboshi and reissue a new certificate to Prince Ned Nwoko.
In 2016, Peter Nwaoboshi sponsored a bill "The Code of Conduct Act Cap C15 LFN 2004 (Amendment) Bill, 2016 (SB 248)". The bill passed its first reading but was never signed or implemented into law.
$6.5 million Equipment fraud
On 31 March 2017 Economic and Financial Crimes Commission revealed to Punch Nigeria that an investigation was ongoing concerning the purchase of "used equipment" instead of the proposed new equipment that was supposed to be supplied to the Delta State government by Peter Nwaoboshi and his brother. Nwaoboshi was said to have used his company Bilderberg Enterprises Limited to secure a N2.1billion ($6.5million approximately) contract. The contract was awarded to Bilderberg Enterprises Limited sum of N1,580,000,000 and N474,936,000 respectively. The information was released to the media barely forty eight hours after Nwaoboshi raised a point of order in the Senate during a sitting that Ibrahim Magu had been "terrorizing" senators since he was not confirmed and asked for his removal from office as EFCC Chairman.
12-story building in Lagos
Peter Nwaoboshi was said to have purchased a 12-story building for the total sum of N805,000,000 which was owned and sold by the Delta State government to his company Golden Touch Construction Project Limited from the proceeds of the equipment fraud. A warehouse was also allegedly purchased at Apapa Wharf, Lagos for the sum of N800, 000,000.
23 undeclared bank accounts
During the investigation carried out by EFCC, the agency also discovered that his Bank Verification Number (BVN) was registered with over 23 banks of which are undeclared. In line with the Code of Conduct Bureau Nigeria that all assets must be declared, Nwaoboshi failed to disclosed his other accounts and also state that his brother Augustine Nwaoboshi is a sole signatory to some of those accounts.
EFCC vs Peter Nwaoboshi
In March 2017, Golden Touch Constructions and Suiming Electrical Limited, both sued the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to a Federal High Court in Asaba requesting a restraining order that the commission not interfere with ownership and purchase of the 12 story building purchased in Apapa, Lagos by Nwaoboshi with the money obtained from the contract of the Delta State government. Barely eight months into the case, EFCC requested the trial be handled by a Federal High Court in Lagos which almost resulted in a judicial fiasco.
On 3 October 2017, EFCC presented its first witness before the Federal High Court in Asaba, an EFCC staff who stated that " a case of fraud and abuse of office was reported to the office of the Executive Chairman of EFCC via a written petition dated 22nd February, 2016 by Comrade Prince Kpokpgri, the chairman of the Anti-Corruption and Integrity Forum against Senator Peter Nwaoboshi". The witness for EFCC stated that the accuser Nwaoboshi was invited for an interview and statements were voluntarily written by Nwaoboshi. The witness for the EFCC also stated that investigations revealed that Nwaoboshi was the owner of Golden Touch Constructions used in the purchase of the warehouse and 12 story building. Prior to his swearing in as Senator, Nwaoboshi had not revealed to the Code of Conduct Bureau that he was a Director at Golden Touch Construction Project Limited instead according to evidence obtained from the Corporate Affairs Commission Mr. Ike Nwabuoku and Emma Ekpon are the only sole directors of the company. It was also revealed that Suiming Electrical Limited is the vendor of the 12-story building.
The case subsequently was transferred to a Federal High Court in Lagos.
On 23 April 2018 Nwaoboshi was arrested by EFCC and arraigned before a Federal High Court in Lagos. On 24 April, the two companies Golden Touch Constructions and Suiming Electrical Limited were also arraigned before the court. Suiming Electrical Limited was charged with aiding and abetting Nwaoboshi and Golden Touch Limited to commit money laundering. The act by Nwaoboshi breached the provisions of Sections 15(2), (d), 15 (3) and 18 (a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 of Nigeria and are liable to punishment under Section 15(3) of the same Act. Nwaoboshi pleaded not guilty to the charges and was granted bail after two days of detention Justice Mohammed Idris. It was also revealed during the court proceedings that Suiming Electrical Limited also provided Golden Touch Limited with a part of the payment for the 12 story building, the payment came from Zenith Bank account belonging to Suiming, it was also noted that Nwoboshi had earilier used Suiming Electrical Limited to obtain a loan from Nexim Bank. In June 2018, it was also gathered that Nwaboshi had defaulted in paying a loan he obtained from Nexim Bank.
On 5 October 2018 he was re arraigned to the Court of Appeal by EFCC where Prince Kpokpogri, an anti-corruption activist was the first witness for the EFCC. During the proceedings he stated that a document was dropped off at the front of his office containing allegations that the senator elect was involved in money laundering. The case was then adjourned to 26 November.
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