A prosecution witness, Tosin Owobo with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on Thursday gave a graphic details of how a former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Adesola Amosu Nunayon, and two other Air force Chiefs converted the sum of N1.9 billion to their personal use.
Awobo, an Assistant Detective Superintendent (ADC) made the revelation while being led in evidence by EFCC prosecutor, Rotimi Oyedepo, in the criminal trial of the three Airforce Chiefs and their eight companies.
Amosu alongside Air Vice Marshal Jacob Bola Adigun, Air Commodore Gbadebo Owodunni Olugbenga and eight companies, are being tried before the court by the EFCC over alleged N22.8 billion fraud.
The companies facing trial with the three Airforce Chiefs are: Delfina Oil and Gas Ltd, Mcallan Oil And Gas Limited, Hebron Housing and Properties Company Limited, Trapezites BDC, Fonds and Pricey Ltd, Deegee Oil and Gas Limited, Timsegg Investment Limited and Solomon Health Care.
At the resumed trial of the accused persons, Owobo told the court presided over by Justice Mohammed Idris, that EFCC received an intelligence reports as to large scale misappropriation of funds in Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), from a Special Task Force saddled with the responsibility of Investigating political exposed persons and government agencies.
The prosecution witness stated that upon receiving the report, it was discovered that there was a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between NIMASA and Nigerian Air Force (NAF).
He stated that the first set of the MOU was signed by a former Chief of Air Staff, Mr. Alex Badeh.
He also stated that upon receiving the MOU, his team requested for the payment vouchers between NIMASA and NAF, where they discovered that the total sum of N1.9 billion in two tranches were paid to some Bureau De Change operators, who later changed the money to United State Dollars of $600 million.
He added that the money were paid into the account number 1750013097 domiciled in Skye Bank, belonging to Air Vice Marshall Gbadebo.
The Bureau De Change operators allegedly used for the said conversations were: Farsman Holding Limited, Bogori BDC, and Abubakar Shittu, Hasubinalahi, who are also BDC operators.
However, lawyers to the accused persons led by Chief Abolaji Ayorinde, Mr. Kemi Balogun, Norrison Quakers, all Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN), and Chief Wale Taiwo, objected to the witness giving evidence in relation to the statements of the Bureau De Change operators (BDC).
They argued that the statements of the BDC operators have not been tendered before the the court, adding that the witness is not in position to give evidence on statements he authored.
However, the prosecutor, Mr. Oyedepo urged the court to allow the witness.
The situation forced the court t to adjourned the matter till January 25 and 26, to rule on if the witness can give evidence on the BDC operators’ statements and continuation of trial.
The accused persons were first arraigned before the court on June 29, on 23 counts charge bordering on Fraud, money laundering, and stealing.
The offences are contrary to sections 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012, and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.