Alleged N21bn Fraud: Witness testifies against Nigeria’s former air force chief

Adesola Amosu
Adesola Amosu

A prosecution witness, Tosin Owobo, has told Justice C.J. Aneke of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos how a former Chief of Air Staff, Adesina Amosu, allegedly laundered various sums of money belonging to the Nigeria Air Force, NAF.

Mr Amosu is standing trial alongside Air Vice Marshall Jacobs Adigun, a former Chief of Accounts and Budgeting and Air Commodore Gbadebo Owodunni, a former Director of Finance and Budget, on an amended 13-count charge bordering on conspiracy and conversion to personal use of the sum of N21 billion belonging to the Nigeria Air Force, NAF.

Mr Owobo, an investigator with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, while being led in evidence by the prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, explained his findings regarding the statement of account of the NAF special emergency operations, as contained in Exhibit A3.

Testifying as the first prosecution witness, PW1, Mr Owobo, said: “The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, paid funds into the Nigerian Air Force special emergency operations accounts, which the defendants are signatories to.

“NIMASA paid in a sum of N3 billion in 2014.

“The statement of account showed that the money was transferred to five different companies, namely: Rites Option Oil and Gas, Juda Oil and Gas, Delfina Oil and Gas, Mcallam Oil and Gas, Trapezites Bureau De Change Limited and Lebol Oil and Gas.”

When asked about his findings regarding the companies that received the money, the witness further told the court that “When the statements of accounts for the companies were investigated, we found out that one Adedeji Adelakun owns Rite Option Oil and Gas.

“When he was interviewed, he said it was a Bureau De Change company.

“He also said that it was opened as an oil and gas company, so as to get reduced charges on cost of transactions.”

According to Mr Owobo, investigation further revealed that Lebol and Juda Oil and Gas were both BDC companies, while Delfina and Mcallam Oil and Gas belonged to the second defendant.

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He said: “Further investigation showed that there were no contracts between the five different companies and NAF.

“They were only used to move funds from NAF accounts.

“The total funds that came to Delfina Oil and Gas from various NAF accounts amounted to N5,900,000,000 (Five Billion, Nine Hundred Million).

“Mcallam Oil and Gas received in total the sum of N6,100,000,000 (Six Billion, One Hundred Million Naira).

Justice Aneke has adjourned the case to March 7, 2019, for the continuation of trial.

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