Alleged N3.6 billion fraud: Ex-Chief of Air Staff’s trial adjourned

A Federal High Court Lagos on Wednesday in Lagos was forced to adjourn until March 27 the trial of a former Chief of Air Staff, Adesola Amosu, and others charged with laundering N3.6 billion following a clash in the timing of the case.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the trial had been scheduled for 1.00 p.m. which coincided with another case listed for trial at the court.

Mr. Amosu is charged alongside two other officers of the Air Force — Jacob Adigun and Gbadebo Olugbenga.

Also arraigned are some companies, namely: Delfina Oil and Gas Ltd, Mcallan Oil and Gas Ltd, Hebron Housing and Properties Company Ltd, Trapezites BDC, and Fonds and Pricey Ltd.

They are being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

They were arraigned before the judge, Mohammed Idris, on June 26, 2016, and had pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Mr. Idris had granted them bail in the sum of N500 million each with two sureties each in like sum.

When the case was called on Wednesday, Mr. Idris informed counsel to both parties that there was a mix up in the cases slated for the day.

He said four cases were listed for hearing at 1.00 p.m, while the court had other pending trials for the day slated for the same time.

On his part, the EFCC prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo, informed the court that the last adjournment was made for a settlement agreement to be reached by parties in the case.

He said no concrete agreement had been reached and that the prosecution was ready to go on with its case, adding that the second prosecution witness was in court for re-examination.

The court, however, apologised that the mix up of the time was from the court’s registry and that hearing could not proceed as scheduled.

The court consequently adjourned the case until March 27 for continuation of trial.

The charges against the accused border on conspiracy, stealing and money laundering.

The accused were said to have indirectly converted N3.6 billion belonging to the Nigerian Air force to their own use.

The EFCC also alleged that Mr. Amosu and others stole over N323 million from the accounts of the Nigerian Air Force between March 21, 2014 and March 12, 2015.

It said the alleged theft was for the purpose of purchasing for themselves a property situated at No.1, River Street, Wuse II, Abuja.

The offences contravened the provisions of Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment).

The accused have pleaded not guilty.

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