The Chief of Training and Operations of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), Air Vice Marshal Olutayo Oguntoyinbo, has been accused and remanded in prison for collecting millions as contractor bribe which triggered outrage and questions to how much the original contract itself is worth.
Justice Olukayode Adeniyi of a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Apo, Abuja, gave the remand order on Thursday, after Oguntoyinbo pleaded not guilty to the one count of accepting N166m gift from a NAF contractor.
Investigations by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) alleged that the defendant received the N166m gift from the contractor, Société D’ Equipment Internationaux Nigeria Limited, in the course of performing his official duty.
Oguntoyinbo allegedly accepted the so called gift from the contractor through the account of his company, Spaceweb Integrated Services Limited, kept with Wema Bank Plc, where he, the Managing Director, is the sole signatory to the bank’s account.
The one count statement from the court reads:
“That you, AVM Olutayo Tade Oguntoyinbo, whilst serving as Chief of Training and Operations, Nigerian Air Force, and the Chief Executive Officer/Managing Director as well as the sole signatory to the account of Spaceweb Integrated Services Limited with Wema Bank Plc on or about July 11, 2014, at Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did accept a gift in the sum of one hundred and sixty-six million naira (N166m) from Société D’ Equipment Internationaux Nigeria Limited, a contractor with the Nigerian Air Force in the performance of your official act and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 17(a) of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission Act and punishable under Section 17(c) of the same Act.”
The defendant was presented in court on Thursday from the custody of the NAF and escorted by an Air Force officer. His lawyer, Mr. Henry Ohun, informed the trial judge that he had filed and served his client’s bail application on the prosecution, thereby urging the court to order that his client be returned to the custody of NAF pending the hearing of the bail application.
But the request was opposed by the prosecutor, Mr. Francis Jirbo, who asked the court to remand the accused in prison, which he said was the proper place of remand for a defendant whose plea had not been taken.
Justice Adeniyi agreed with the prosecutor and ordered the remand of the defendant in custody. He adjourned the hearing of the bail application till June 6.