How N22.8bn Meant for Operation Lafiya Dole Was Embezzled




A former Chief of Air Staff, Adesola Amosu, who is standing trial for an alleged fraud of N22.8bn, asked a Federal High Court to direct the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to supply him with the statement obtained from, Alex Badeh his predecessor.

Mr Amosu through his counsel, Bolaji Ayorinde, SAN, specifically told the court that he would not go on without being supplied with the statement made by Badeh to EFCC.

He urged the judge to direct the EFCC to supply him with Mr Badeh’s statement.

Nigerian Tribune recalls that Amosu is being tried alongside Air Vice Marshal Jacob Adigun and Air Commodore Gbadebo Olugbenga.

They were accused of using eight companies to embezzle N22.8bn from NAF’s coffers.

But they pleaded not guilty.

However, at Tuesday’s proceedings, an operative of the EFCC, Tosin Owobo, who appeared as the second prosecution witness, during cross-examination said that the funds allegedly diverted by the defendants were meant for NAF’s operations, including Operation Lafiya Dole meant for the North East.

Mr Owobo told the court that in the course of investigation his team interviewed and took statements from a number of NAF officers, including Badeh, who all confirmed that the funds were for operations.

“We interviewed other officers like Sergeant Agbogiji Murphy, Air Commodore Yishau, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, Wing Commander Ifuegbu, Umar Mohammed, among other NAF officials.”

Mr Ayorinde then asked the witness if Badeh’s statement was obtained, to which the witness replied in the affirmative, adding that the statement was in the EFCC’s office.

Mr Owobo said Mr Badeh was questioned on the transactions in the statement of account and gave answers as to the transactions that fell within his time as the Chief of Air Staff.

“We do not want to be seen as causing any delay but at the same time we have to do our job very well,” Mr Ayorinde said while asking for an adjournment

Justice Mojisola Olatoregun however in a short ruling, directed the prosecution to make all relevant documents available to the defence and adjourned till May 30, 2018, for the continuation of trial.