A former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu(rtd) was yesterday arraigned before a Federal High Court in Lagos over charges bordering on fraud, money laundering and stealing to the tune of N22.8 billion.
The former Air-Chief was docked on 23-count charge alongside two senior serving Air Force officers.
The two serving senior Air Force officers are Air Vice Marshal Jacob Bola Adigun and Air Commodore Gbadebo Owodunni Olugbenga.
Also arraigned with them are their companies: Delfina Oil and Gas Limited, McAllan Oil and Gas Limited, Hebron Housing and Properties Company Limited, Trapezitrs Bureau De Change ((BDC), Fonds and Pricey Limited, Deegee Oil and Gas Limited, Timsegg Investment Limited, and Solomon Health Care Limited.
According to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the accused persons committed the offences between March 5, 2014, and May 4, 2015. The anti-graft commission alleged that the officers converted several billions of Naira belonging to the Nigeria Air Force (NAF), to their personal use.
In one of the counts of the charge, the accused persons were alleged to have converted the sum of N21,467,634,707.43 billion, property of the Nigerian Air Force, which sum was derived from stealing, to their personal use.
In another count, they were alleged to have between May 5, 2014 and 4 May 4, 2015 in Lagos, indirectly converted the sum of N5, 291, 306, 950.28 Billion, property of the Nigerian Air Force which sum they reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of an unlawful act, to wit: stealing.
The accused persons, however pleaded not guilty when the charge was read to them. Following their plea, the prosecutor urged the court for accelerated hearing, and also applied that the accused persons be remanded in prison pending the determination of the charge.
But lawyers to the accused persons which include: Mr. Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN), Mr. Norris Quakers (SAN), and A. Etuokwu, urged the court to discontinuance the remand application made by the prosecutor against their clients.
Ayorinde (SAN) who represented Amosu informed the court that a bail application for his client has been filed and same has been served on the prosecution.
Ayorinde informed the court that his client has refunded a collosal amount.
He therefore urged the court to admit bail to his client on self-recognizance, or on a very liberal terms.
Counsels to the other accused persons also made the same submission that their clients should be admitted to bail.
The presiding judge, Justice Mohammed Idris, while ruling on the submissions of the parties, granted the accused persons bail in the sum of N500 million with two sureties in the same like sum. He adjourned the matter to July 8, 2016.