ONSA: EFCC seeks final forfeiture of ex-air chief, others

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ByKenneth Atavti

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has filed a motion for the final forfeiture of N2.2billion recovered from former Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal Adesola Amosu.

Justice Mojisola Olatoregun had on June 7 ordered the money’s temporary forfeiture based on an ex-parte application by the commission.

The judge ruled: “An interim order is made forfeiting to the Federal Government of Nigeria the total sum of N2, 244,500,000 found and recovered by the commission from the first respondent (Amosu) which sum is reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activity.”

The judge also granted an interim order for the temporary forfeiture of N190, 828,978.15 recovered from a former Nigeria Air Force (NAF) Director of Finance and Budget Air Commodore Olugbenga Gbadebo, as well as N101 million recovered from Solomon Enterprises, a company linked to Amosu.

EFCC said the money “is reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activity.”

The judge had directed EFCC to publish the interim order in The Nation and Punch newspapers so that the respondents or anyone interested could show cause as to why the final order of forfeiture should not be made in favor of the Federal Government.

Yesterday, the court granted applications by Amosu’s lawyer Chief Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN) to regularise his processes for extension of time to file an affidavit to show cause as directed by the court.

A former NAF Chief of Accounts and Budgeting Air Vice Marshal Jacob Adigun, who is on trial with Amosu and Gbadebo, was represented by Mr. Oluwakemi Balogun (SAN) Dapo Ogungbe, as an interested party.

Ogungbe informed the court about an application in which Adigun is seeking to be joined as an interested party, as well as a motion seeking an extension of time to file an affidavit to show cause as ordered by the court.

But, EFCC’s lawyer Oyedepo said he was only served with Adgun’s counter-affidavit, but had not received both the application for joinder and the one seeking time extension.

After noting that there was no proof of service in her file, Justice Olatoregun adjourned until November 12 for hearing and ordered counsel to ensure proper service.

EFCC alleged that while in office, the respondents diverted huge sums of money from NAF to purchase properties within and outside the country.

The commission said following Amosu’s appointment on January 16, 2014, NAF received as part of its budgetary allocation the sum N4.5 billion from the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) for Maritime Security Support, pursuant to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between NAF and NIMASA.

EFCC said part of the fund was allegedly diverted for private uses by the respondents.

Amosu, Gbadebo, and Adigun are on trial before another judge of the court, Justice Mohammed Idris, for allegedly converting N21billion from NAF through various companies.

They are Delfina Oil and Gas Ltd, Mcallan Oil and Gas Ltd, Hebron Housing and Properties Company Ltd, Trapezites BDC, Fonds and Pricey Ltd, Deegee Oil and Gas Ltd, Timsegg Investment Ltd, and Solomon Health Care Ltd.

Before the trial started, Amosu had told the court that he was holding plea bargain talks with the EFCC, but the talks later broke down and trial commenced.

Amosu and Adigun were said to have, between July 17 and September 16, 2014, allegedly removed huge over N663.4 million 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.

They were accused of buying 40A, Bourdillon, Ikoyi, with N900million, and a property at Sinari Daranijo in Victoria Island with N1.5 billion.

EFCC said they also bought a property named as Cappadol Mall at Adetokunbo Ademola Street, Wuse II Abuja, for N750 million, as well as a property worth over N1.7billion at Agobogba Street, Parkview, Ikoyi Lagos, using the airforce’s money.

Other properties they allegedly bought using Air Force’s funds include one at Salt Lake Street, Maitama, Abuja; one at Agadez Street off Aminu Kano Crescent, Abuja; 61A, Lake Chad Street, Maitama, Abuja; and one at 1, River Street, Wuse II Abuja using alleged stolen funds.

The defendants allegedly used N428,139,539.00 removed from NAF accounts to renovate and purchase medical equipment for Solomon HealthCare Ltd situate at 24th Adeniyi Jones Street, Ikeja Lagos.

 

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