Asset Declaration: Nwaoboshi Gets Reprieve as Court Halts Arrest

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Peter Nwaoboshi

Davidson Iriekpen

The senator representing Delta North senatorial district, Peter Nwaoboshi, Thursday got a reprieve from arrest and other punitive actions against him by the Special Presidential Investigation Panel (SPIP) for recovery of public property.

A Federal High Court in Abuja presided over by Justice J. T. Tsoho, who granted the order, directed that the status quo as at May 31, 2019, be maintained in respect of the matter of alleged non-declaration of assets, which the presidential panel has been investigating against the senator.

“Upon this motion, ex-parte dated, 08/6/2019 but filed on 10/06/2019, the court ordered that the status quo as at 31st day of May 2019, in respect of this matter be maintained pending the hearing and determination of the applicants.”

The suit was adjourned to June 25, 2019 for hearing of the applicant’s motion on notice.

In the originating motion, Nwaoboshi asked the court for an order of interim injunction restraining the Respondents (SPIP and its Chairman, Okoi Obono-Obla), by themselves or any one of them, their servants, agents, officials and/or privies from continuing to harass, intimidate, threaten and or disturb the applicant (Nwaoboshi) over and, concerning any alleged declaration of assets; and in particular, from taking any step or further step and/or action in furtherance of the purported.

“Notice to declare assets” said to have been dated the September 15, 2018 but served on the applicant’s gateman, one Suleiman Abubakar at the applicant’s residence No; 25, 6932 Road, Gwarimpa Estate, Abuja, FCT on Monday, June 3, 2019 as well as the said “Investigation activities: Invitation Letter” dated June 6, 2019 and served late in the night of the same date on the applicant’s Personal Assistant, one Ken Ifeanyichukwu at the applicant’s said Gwarimpa Estate, Abuja, FCT residence pending the hearing and final determination of the applicant’s originating application in this suit.”

The SPIP had last Monday asked the Director of Public Prosecutions of the Federation (DPPF) to commence a proper prosecution against Nwaoboshi over his alleged failure to declare his assets when he was given an asset declaration form to fill during his interrogation by the panel.

The senator was alleged to have corruptly enriched himself and abused his position as Chairman of Senate Committee of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDCC) through the award of multi-billion naira contracts to companies linked to him but failed to execute the projects.

According to the SPIP, Nwaoboshi has refused to declare his assets before the panel after lawful demand by the special presidential investigation panel,”

“This refusal is contrary to and punishable under section 3(i)(a) of the Recovery of Public Property (Special Provisions) Act 2004.

“It shall be appreciated if a charge is brought against him for this offence pending the conclusion of the investigation.

“We hereby attach a draft charge against him, for your perusal and further action, please.” SPIP had stated.