EFCC docks Amosu as ex-air chief allegedly returns N2.6b

 By Olaolu Oladipo, Lagos

The anti-graft agency, the Economic Financial and other Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned the immediate past Chief of Air Staff, Vice Marshal Adesola Amosu before a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos.

This is coming just as indications have emerged that the former military officer docked for laundering about N21billion, has returned N2.6billion to the Federal Government.

His lawyer Chief Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN), while arguing Amosu’s bail application after his was arraigned before Justice Mohammed Idris, said his client had returned “colossal sums”.

It was learnt from a reliable source that Amosu returned N2.6billion to the Federal Government.

EFCC on Wednesday arraigned the former air chief along with a former Chief of Accounts and Budgeting at the Nigeria Air Force, Air Vice Marshal Jacob Adigun and a former Director of Finance and Budget Air Commodore Olugbenga Gbadebo.

Arguing Amosu’s bail application, Ayorinde said his client, who pleaded not guilty, has always cooperated with the prosecution since his arrest in January and would not jump bail.

“He has remitted colossal sums of money to the Federal Government, although not in admittance of guilt, but out of cooperation with security agencies.

“My application is that bail be granted to the first defendant on self-recognisance. Let those terms be liberal. He has been reporting to the EFCC, sometimes twice a week. The first defendant will make himself available for trial,” the Senior Advocate said.

Adigun’s lawyer, Mr Norrison Quakers (SAN), also, urged the court to grant his client bail on liberal terms. “Incidentally, the second defendant is on administrative bail by the commission. He will be available for trial,” he said.

Gbadebo’s lawyer, Mr A. Etuokwu also asked for bail for his client. Prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, did not oppose the bail applications, but urged the court to make the terms stringent.

Justice Idris granted them bail for N500 million with two sureties in same like sum. The sureties must be property owners within the court’s jurisdiction, he said.

Title documents of the properties must be submitted to the court’s registrar, which must be verified by the EFCC. The sureties must also swear to an affidavit of means which must be also be verified the EFCC, the court ruled.

Justice Idris directed the defendants to submit their International passports to the court’s Deputy Chief Registrar (DCR)

He ordered Amosu and Gbadebo’s remand in prison custody, while Adigun was to be kept in EFCC custody because of his health condition pending when they fulfill their bail terms.

The defendants were accused of using the companies to convert and conceal the money.

Amosu and Adigun were said to have, between July 17 and September 16, 2014,  allegedly removed huge over N663.4million from the Nigerian Air Force accounts to purchase properties at  50-52 Tenterden Grove, London (NW4 1TH) and at 93B Shirehall Park, LondonNW4 2QU, United Kingdom.

EFCC said the accused persons converted and concealed the sums, which they “reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of an unlawful act, to wit: stealing.” They all pleaded not guilty.

Justice Idris adjourned until July 8 for trial.

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