The Federal High Court in Lagos yesterday heard that a former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu (rtd), charged with laundering N21billion, has returned N2.6billion to the Federal Government.
While arguing his bail application, after he was arraigned before Justice Mohammed Idris, Amosu’s lawyer Chief Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN), confirmed his client had returned “collossal sums”.
Amosu was arraigned before the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) alongside a former Chief of Accounts and Budgeting at NAF, Air Vice Marshal Jacob Adigun and a former Director of Finance and Budget at NAF, Air Commodore Olugbenga Gbadebo.
Companies also arraigned with them are Delfina Oil and Gas Limited, Mcallan Oil And Gas Limited, Hebron Housing and Properties Company Limited, Trapezites BDC, Fonds and Pricey Limited, Deegee Oil and Gas Limited, Timsegg Investment Limited and Solomon Health Care Limited.
They were accused of converting N21 billion from the NAF on March 5, 2014 in Lagos and of concealing “proceeds of crime” and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012 and punishable under Section 17(a).
Ayorinde, however, said his client, who pleaded not guilty to the charges, has always cooperated with the prosecution since his arrest in January and would not jump bail, adding that he has remitted colossal sums of money to the federal government, although not in admittance of guilt, but out of cooperation with security agencies. He said:
“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.”
Adesola Amosu and his predecessor, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh (retd.) were arrested in January in connection with the arms purchase scandal involving former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki.
They have been probed for the non-specification of procurement costs, absence of contract agreements, award of contracts beyond authorized thresholds, transfer of public funds for unidentified purposes and general non-adherence to provisions of the Public Procurement Act.
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In February, houses belonging to Amosu worth over N500 million was seized by the EFCC and about $140,000 in cash was reportedly recovered in his Badagry home. The anti-graft agency reportedly recovered N381 million from Amosu’s wife, Omolara.