Tosin Owobo, an investigator with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has told Justice Chukwujeku Aneke of the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, how Air Marshal Jacob Bola Adigun, a former Chief of Accounts of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), used his companies to siphon the sum of N12billion from the NAF intelligence account domiciled in Zenith Bank.
Adigun is the second defendant in a N22.8bn fraud charge preferred against Adesola Amosu, a former Chief of Air Staff.
Amosu is being tried alongside two other officers of the Air Force, Air Vice Marshal Jacob
Adigun and Air Commodore Gbadebo Olugbenga.
The trio are standing trial alongside other companies, namely: Delfina Oil and Gas Limited, Mcallan Oil and Gas Limited, Hebron Housing and Properties Company Limited, Trapezites BDC, and Fonds and Pricey Limited.
Led in evidence by Rotimi Oyedepo, the prosecution counsel, Owobo told the court that sequel to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Nigerian Air Force, the total sum of N3billion was paid into the NAF Special Emergency Operation Account domiciled with Zenith Bank Plc in three tranches of N1billion on different occasions.
Owobo further said the money was paid into Right Options Oil & Gas Limited, Judah Oil Limited, Delfina Oil & Gas, McAllan Oil & Gas Limited and Lebol Oil & Gas Limited.
He said: “As part of the investigation, we invited the Managing Directors of Right Options Oil & Gas, Judah Oil & Gas and Lebol Oil & Gas Limited, who stated that they were Bureau De Change (BDC) operators and not oil dealers.
“They said when the monies were paid into their accounts, they gave the dollar equivalents to the account officers of the NAF Special Emergency Operation Account for the second and third defendants. They also stated that their companies were registered as oil and gas companies because they were given a high threshold of monies that could be transferred with fewer deductions.”
While giving further evidence on the account opening packages of Delfina Oil & Gas and McAllan Oil & Gas, Otobo told the court that the CAC documents that were used in opening the accounts bore Adigun’s name as Director.
According to Otobo, investigations further revealed that certain monies that did not originate from NIMASA were paid from other NAF accounts into the NAF Special Emergency Operation Account. The money, he said, was in turn paid into McAllan Oil & Gas Limited, Delfina Oil & Gas Limited and Trapezites BDC to the tune of about N15billion.
He explained that investigation revealed how these funds were used to acquire properties located in Abuja, Ikoyi, Victoria Island and United Kingdom, respectively.
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, and the offences contravened the provisions of Sections 15 and 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011.
The three defendants pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Justice Aneke adjourned the case until Thursday, March 7 2019, for continuation of trial.