A prosecution witness, Tosin Owobo, an investigator with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission , EFCC, on Tuesday, October 3 2017, told Justice M.B. Idris of the Federal High Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos how a former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu (rtd), allegedly built a diagnostic centre with funds looted from the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) accounts.
Amosu is standing trial alongside two serving senior Air Force Officers: Air Marshal Jacob Bola Adigun, a former Chief of Accounts and Budgeting and Air Commodore Gbadebo Owodunni Olugbenga, a former Director of Finance and Budget.
Also charged along with the accused are seven companies namely 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.
The defendants are standing trial on a 23-count charge of conspiracy, stealing, money laundering, concealing of proceeds of crime and conversion of funds belonging to the Nigerian Air Force to their personal use.
Led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, Owobo said investigation by his team revealed an account belonging to the first defendant, Amosu, in Zenith Bank in the name of St. Solomon Health Care located at Ikeja, Lagos.
Owobo further told the court that the hospital received monies transferred from Delfina Oil and Gas Limited, one of the companies used by the first defendant to move funds from the operational accounts of NAF.
He also told the court that several companies, including 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 Ltd, Timsegg Investment Limited and Solomon Health Care Limited, also received money directly from the operational accounts of the NAF.
Giving further testimony, Owobo said that investigation by his team also revealed that one Funke Osisanmi, an employee of Zenith Bank, was the Account Officer to all the above named companies, which were opened by Adigun on the instruction of Amosu.
The witness also told the court that Osisanmi, who admitted to have operated and managed all the accounts, stated that she gave thousands of US Dollars to Gbadebo on several occasions on the instruction of Adigun.
Owobo said: “Upon interviewing Air Vice Marshal Jacob Adigun in the course of our investigation, he admitted to have collected thousands of US Dollars from Mrs. Funke Osisanmi and subsequently given the monies to Air Marshal Adesola Amosu (retd).
“We invited Air Marshal Adesola Amosu (rtd), Air Vice Marshal Jacob Adigun and Air Commodore Olugbenga Gbadebo to the EFCC Lagos Office and interviewed them in respect of the charge against them. They all admitted that monies exchanged hands to the tune of several billions of Naira.
“Our investigation also revealed that the money that was moved from the NAF operational accounts was to the tune of N21 billion. The money was converted to personal use to purchase properties within and outside the country.”
When the prosecution counsel, Oyedepo, sought to tender in evidence the opening documents of the companies’ accounts with Zenith Bank and other accounts traced to the defendants, the defence counsel objected to their admissibility.
Consequently, Justice Idris adjourned the matter to Thursday, October 5, 2017 for ruling and continuation of trial.