N21.4bn Fraud: EFCC Re-arraigns Former Chief of Air Staff, Amosu

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

Amosu 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) reported that the trio was first arraigned in June 2016, alongside some companies before Justice Mohammed Idris.

Their re-arraignment before Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke yesterday followed the elevation of Justice 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.

As a result of Justice Idris’ elevation, Amosu’s trial which has lasted over two years in court is beginning afresh before Justice 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 Limited, Mcallan Oil and Gas Limited, Hebron Housing and Properties Company Limited, Trapezites BDC, Fonds and Pricey Limited and Solomon healthcare Limited.

Prior to their re-arraignment yesterday, Justice 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 Justice 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

Justice Aneke adjourned the case until November 14 for continuation of trial