20171004

How ex-Airforce boss Amosu diverted N2.7b, bought houses in UK – EFCC

The EFCC said it had discovered two properties which a former Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshall Adesola Amosu (rtd.), illegally acquired in the United Kingdom with funds that he allegedly diverted from the coffers of the Nigerian Air Force.

EFCC told the Federal High Court in Lagos on Tuesday that investigation by its operatives revealed that Amosu bought the houses with the help of a Bureau De Change firm, Right Option Oil and Gas.

The ex-NAF helmsman, according to the EFCC, removed over N600m from NAF’s account and sent it to the firm, which in turn converted it to $3m to purchase two properties for Amosu in the UK.

The EFCC said this was apart from the N2.1bn, which Amosu allegedly stole from NAF and used to purchase diagnostic equipment for a hospital, Solomon Health Care Ltd., personally owned by him.

An operative of the EFCC, Tosin Owobo, stated this at the resumed trial of Amosu and 10 others for an alleged fraud of N22.8bn perpetrated within NAF between March 2014 and April 2015.

The defendants are being tried before Justice Mohammed Idris, where they were arraigned on June 29, 2016 on 26 charges bordering on theft and money laundering.

Those standing trial alongside Amosu are a former Chief of Accounts and Budgeting at the Nigerian Air Force, Air Vice Marshal Jacob Adigun; and a former Director of Finance and Budget, Air Commodore Olugbenga Gbadebo.

The EFCC alleged that the defendants diverted N22.8bn, belonging to the NAF, using a number of companies.

The said companies were also joined as defendants in the charge.

The Trial 
While being led in evidence by the prosecuting counsel for the EFCC, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, Owobo, who was the second prosecution witness, narrated to Justice Idris how the trio of Amosu, Adigun and Gbadebo, allegedly moved funds from NAF’s operations accounts for their personal use.

Owobo said investigation by his team revealed that N5.9bn was transferred from NAF accounts to a BDC company, Delfina Oil and Gas, which was owned by Adigun.

He said N6.1bn and N3.6bn were traced to Mcallan Oil and Gas Trapezites BDC respectively, whose accounts were managed by Adigun.

He said N800m was traced to each of Deegee Oil and Gas and Timsegg, stressing that the companies neither had any Memorandum of Understanding nor rendered any services to NAF to warrant the transfer of the funds to them from NAF’s operations accounts.

He added, “These companies were not into oil and gas. N21bn was moved from various NAF accounts without appropriation.”

Owobo, however, said the EFCC had recovered some of the properties which the defendants allegedly purchased fraudulently while some funds were also recovered.

He said, “Members of our team visited properties in Nigeria upon which markings were placed and most of the properties have officers of the EFCC stationed there. They were handed over to the Asset Management Department of the EFCC.

“The properties have been attached by the legal department of the EFCC which obtained interim forfeiture orders of those properties,” the witness said.

Owobo told Justice Idris that Amosu had returned up to N2bn to the Federal Government.

Further proceedings in the case were adjourned till Thursday, October 5.