21.4BIL FRAUD: EFCC REARRAIGNS AMOSU, FORMER CHIEF OF AIR STAFF

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Tuesday re-arraigned a former Chief of Air Staff, Adesola Amosu, before a Federal High Court in Lagos, over alleged N21.4 billion fraud.

Mr Amosun, a retired air marshal, was re-arraigned alongside, Jacob Adigun, an air vice marshal and Olugbenga Gbadebo, an air commodore, on a 13-count charge.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the trio was first arraigned in June 2016, alongside some companies before Justice Mohammed Idris.

Their re-arraignment before Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke on Tuesday followed the elevation of Mr Idris to the Court of Appeal.

They pleaded not guilty to the charges while the court allowed them to continue with the bail granted by the previous judge.

NAN also reports that as a result of Justice Idris’ elevation, Mr Amosun’s trial which has lasted over two years in court is beginning afresh before Mr Aneke.

In the amended charge, the EFCC dropped the names of the companies which were joined as accused in the earlier charge.

The companies are: Delfina Oil and Gas Ltd, Mcallan Oil and Gas Ltd, Hebron Housing and Properties Company Ltd, Trapezites BDC, Fonds and Pricey Ltd and Solomon healthcare Ltd.

Prior to their re-arraignment on Tuesday, Mr Aneke, had in a ruling rejected the prayer by the defence that the companies whose names were removed from the charge be first pronounced discharged and acquitted before any further action.

But Mr Aneke in his ruling faulted the argument of the defence and directed that the amended charges be read to the accused.

In the first count, the EFCC alleged that the accused conspired to covert a total sum of N21.4 billion property of the Nigerian Air Force which sum they reasonably ought to have known formed part of proceeds of a criminal breach of trust.

The anti-graft agency alleged that the accused persons diverted the sums using several companies.

The prosecution said the accused committed the offences on March 5, 2014.

It said the offences contravened the provisions of Sections 15 and 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011

Mr Aneke adjourned the case until November 14 for continuation of trial.

(NAN)

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