Court Admits More Documents In Proof Of Case Against Amosu, Others

Adesola Amosu, Air Force, EFCC, CourtThe Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has presented more documents in proof of its case against a former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu (rtd), and 10 others.

The EFCC is prosecuting Air Marshal Amosu and his co-defendants for an alleged fraud totalling about 22.8 billion naira.

The documents were presented on Thursday before a Federal High Court in Lagos, through an investigator with the EFCC, Mr Tosin Owobo, who continued his testimony from Wednesday.

Led in evidence by the prosecutor, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, Mr Owobo claimed that his team of investigators uncovered how funds were moved from the Nigerian Air Force Special Emergency Operation account into the accounts of three companies.

According to the witness, the investigators later discovered that one of the three companies, Timsegg Investment Limited, was operated by one of the defendants who is a former Director of Finance and Budget, Air Commodore Olugbenga Gbadebo.

Justice Mohammed Idris admitted in evidence, the statements of accounts of the company, and also admitted the account documents of one Hebron Housing and Properties Company, which was also allegedly used to divert the Air Force funds.

An Attempt to tender the bank documents of another company, Gbemisola Ventures, said to also be owned by Air Commodore Gbadebo, was however resisted by the defence team.

Justice Idris has adjourned till February 22 for ruling on the admissibility of the documents and for continuation of trial.

Funds Diversion: An EFCC Detective’s Testimony Against Amosu

Adesola Amosu, Air Force, EFCC, NIMASA, Tosin OwoboA witness has told a court how a former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu, and two other Air Force chiefs, diverted the sum of three billion naira paid to the Nigerian Air Force by the Nigerian Maritime and Safety Agency (NIMASA).

Mr Tosin Owobo, an Assistant Detective Superintendent with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), said the money was paid in response to a request made to the Director General of NIMASA at the time, Mr Patrick Akpobolokemi, by Air Marshal Amosu for assistance on maritime security.

The EFCC detective, a third prosecution witness, made the testimony on Wednesday in continuation of the trial of the former Air Force chiefs at the Federal High Court in Lagos State, southwest Nigeria.

He informed the court that investigations revealed that there was a Memorandum of Understanding between NIMASA and the Nigerian Air Force.

In furtherance of the memo, NIMASA in 2013 paid the sum of one billion Naira and 480 million Naira to the Nigerian Air Force under the leadership of former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Alex Badeh.

In continuation of the agreement in 2014, the EFCC official testified that Mr Amosu wrote to Mr Akpobolokemi, requesting four billion Naira, as the cash amount needed for maritime security.

Mr Akpobolokemi was said to have instead approved the payment of three billion Naira, a sum which was reportedly released in three tranches of one billion Naira each between August and September 2014, and paid into a Nigerian Air Force Special Emergency Operations Account.

The witness added that authorisation for the three billion Naira to be paid into the special account was given by the Director of Accounts, Air Vice Marshal Jacob Bola Adigun, the second defendant in this case.

He, however, said that the monies were purportedly transferred from the special account to various oil and gas companies, all of whom have now been listed in the charge alongside the three Air Force chiefs.

The court admitted in evidence, the statements of accounts of the oil companies allegedly involved.

However, a move by the EFCC Counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, to get the witness to delve into some of the content of the documents was rebuffed by the defence team.

The defence counsels objected the move on the grounds that the witness was not the maker of the documents neither was there an authentication obtained.

Justice Mohammed Idris consequently adjourned till Thursday, February 26 to rule on whether the witness can answer questions based on the documents and for continuation of the trial.

Nigeria Will Decimate Boko Haram Before December – Former COAS

Air-Force-AmosuNigeria’s former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu has expressed confidence that the military will decimate the Boko Haram sect by December this year, if the momentum of the ongoing operation is sustained.

At his Flying Out ceremony, Air Marshal Amosu, however advised that the anti-terrorism operations must continue with the Police and the Immigration playing a vital role to provide internal and trans border security.

He expressed confidence that the new leadership of the military is capable of completing the operations to stamp Boko Haram out of the country

The former Chief of Air Staff also welcomed the renewed interest by the United States of America to assist Nigeria with weapons, maintaining that that the move will bring more sophistication to the fight against the terrorists.

Stronger Coalition

President Muhammadu Buhari had announced the formation of a stronger regional coalition between Nigeria and other neighbouring countries to increase the capacity to deal with Boko Haram and other terrorist groups.

President Buhari said this on Friday, July 31, during a conversation with the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Office for West Africa, Dr Mohammed Ibn Chambas.

According to his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the President reaffirmed his belief that the full activation and deployment of the Multi National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) which has been established under the auspices of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, would lead to the speedy defeat and elimination of Boko Haram.

Troops Capture Boko Haram Commander Alive

The Nigerian troops fighting the insurgency in the troubled North East region have recently been making considerable success as it announced the capture of a Boko Haram commander alive.

According to the Director of Army Public Relations, Colonel Sanni Usman, the militant was apprehended during an offensive operation conducted by the troops of the 21 Brigade in conjunction with elements of 151 Task Force Battalion of 7 Division, around Aulari in Bama axis.

The offensive also resulted in the rescue of 178 people held captive by the terrorists, including 101 children, 67 women and 10 men.

He said that the troops, consolidating on their success under Operation Lafiya Dole, have also successfully cleared the terrorists’ camps in Fadan, Shuwarin, Wulari, Ngoro Dauye, Jidori and several other locations.

New Military Command Will Be Operational In 21 Days – Nigerian Army

MaiduguriThe Nigerian military on Wednesday said the Military Command and Control Centre (MCCC) in Maiduguri and Yola will be operational within 21 days.

This was contained in a statement by Col. Sani Usman, the Acting Director of Army Public Relations in Abuja, who noted that the military had commenced the installation of hi-tech equipment and infrastructure development of the MCCC in Maiduguri and Yola.

The statement said that the posting of additional operations staff had also commenced.

Usman said the installations of the equipment and the posting of the additional staff were to be completed within 21 days when the centre would be fully operational.

He said that with the establishment of the centre, all strategic and operational decisions on the fight against terrorism and insurgency would emanate from the MCCC. “This will ensure faster response time; improve situational awareness and better coordination of all stakeholders.

“The centre will also give the needed impetus that would ensure prosecution and successful conclusion of the war against terrorism. “It will also provide the required interface between the Armed Forces of Nigeria and the Multi-National Joint Task Force to be deployed at the Lake Chad Basin area at the end of July 2015.

“You will recall that a reconnaissance and an advance team for the establishment of Military Command and Control Centre (MCCC) were in Maiduguri and Yola last week,” Usman said.

He further noted that the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen Kenneth Minimah, and the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu, were at the MCCC to commence operations on Tuesday, June 9, 2015.

Air Force Set To Step Up Air Strikes On Insurgents

Chief Of Air StaffThe Chief Of Air Staff, Air Marshal Adesola Amosun on Sunday said the Nigeria Air Force will be stepping up its air strike on insurgents in the north eastern part of  Nigeria following the acquisition of new equipment and weapons.

Speaking in Lagos during the testing and calibration of the newly-acquired equipment, Air Marshal Amosu assured that “in a matter of weeks the insurgents will be weakened considerably and ultimately return peace to that part of the country”.

He maintained that “Some new ammunition has showed up and we need to incorporate these into the platforms we have.

“Then we need to intensify the day and night operations. We are here essentially to flag off the operations, but we need to let the citizens know that occasionally they will hear gunfire; they will have ammunition being delivered so they should not panic.

“For the past two days we have been in the air notifying the citizens accordingly that there is an ongoing operation to recalibrate our weapon system and fine tune our tactics”, he maintained.

He further noted that maritime sector is another sector that needed a second look due to the “challenges in that area”, adding that “it is not only in the north east that we have challenges in the country. We equally have challenges in the maritime sector.

“We are contributing to the Operation Polo Shield in the Niger Delta”, he stressed.

CAS Challenge States To Be More Involved In Fight Against Insurgency

Amosu CASThe Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu, has challenged state and local governments, particularly, those affected by the current insecurity situation in the country, to be more involved in the fight against insurgency.

Speaking with journalists in Ilorin on Saturday when he led Air Force officers on inspection of ongoing construction of airport hangar at the Ilorin International Airport, the CAS said that state governments should build, equip and monitor parks in order to fight insurgents before they strike.

“The state governments should put proper plan in place to check people that may want to cause insurgency. There is urgent need for technological innovation to check insecurity.

“For instance, by regulating time for resumption in markets, technology to check people’s movement”, he said.

Air Marshal Amosu, who said the Air Force has been collaborating with the Army and Police on the way to end the insurgency, added that Nigerians generally needed to be more security conscious to avoid spread of insurgency and to combat spate of insurgency in the north eastern parts of the country.

Air Marshal Advocates Use Of Technology To Curb Insurgency

church-bombingThe Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu, has challenged states and local governments, particularly, those affected by the current insecurity situation in the country, to be more involved in the fight against insurgency.

Speaking with Journalists in Ilorin on Thursday while leading Air force officers on inspection of the ongoing construction of the Ilorin International Airport hangar, the air marshal said that state governments should build, equip and monitor parks in order to fight insurgents before they strike, stating that the “state governments should put a proper plan in place to check people that may want to cause insurgency in the country”, insisting that “there is an urgent need for technological innovation to check insecurity”.

He also laid  emphasis on technology to be put in place to regulate time for resumption in markets, and to check peoples movements.

He further said the air force has been collaborating with the army and police on the way to end the overwhelming insurgency in the state.

He added that “Nigerians generally need to be more security conscious to avoid spread of insurgency and to combat spate of insurgency in the North- Eastern parts of the country”.

 

Chibok Girls: Foreign Intervention Won’t Compromise Nigeria’s Sovereignty – Military Chief

Women-protest-Chibok-girls-abductionNigeria’s Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu, on Friday said intervention of foreign troops in the ongoing search for the abducted girls of Government Girls Secondary School, Chibok in Borno State, will not compromise the sovereignty of Nigeria.

Briefing the press shortly after decorating 12 newly promoted air warrant officers of the service in Abuja, Air Marshal Amosu said that the joint operation would have spelt out modalities that would enable the military end insurgency in the north east.

The air chief, who commented on reports that the foreign troops had  insisted on screening elements of the Nigerian army who are to work with them in the joint operation, explained that modalities for the operations were being worked out.

He added that while it would not be appropriate to disclose the arrangement being put in place, the foreign forces made it clear they would share information with the country and would even be willing to provide extra if requested.

The joint operation was initiated after President Goodluck Jonathan during a Media Chat called for international support in the search of the missing girls, assuring the relatives of the girls and the international community that they girls would be rescued.

France, UK, US and some other countries assured the Nigerian government of their support in efforts to rescue the girls abducted by members of a terrorist group, Boko Haram.

In a video released on Monday, the group declared willingness to exchange the girls with members of the sect held in detention across the country.

FG Approves Acquisitions of Fighter Jets, Helicopters- CAS

Fighter jetsThe Federal Government of Nigeria has approved the acquisition of new fighter aircraft and helicopters for the Nigerian Air Force as well as the upgrade of some of the existing platforms to enable the service perform it roles.

The Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Adesola Amosu, made the disclosure during a media briefing on the occasion of Nigerian Air Force 50th Anniversary Celebration at the Air Force Headquarters Abuja.

Amosu, who commended President Goodluck Jonathan for living up to his full responsibility of ensuring that necessary resources needed to sustain the NAF are always available, also gave the assurance that the military would stabilise the country from the current security challenges.

Responding to current state of insecurity in the north east, Amosu said that: “We must stablise the North-East and we must ensure that elections take place, democracy is something vital to our nation and we are defenders of democracy. So, everything that we need to do, any kind of sacrifice that is in place to ensure that security is ensured, we have to do it”.

Amosu noted that one of the challenges the military was facing in the North-East was the lack of information by citizens, asking for their cooperation in the fight against the insurgency.

According to him, the war against insurgency is a collective responsibility of all Nigerians.

The Chief of Air Staff said that “with necessary information, perhaps the North-East would have been stabilised by now”.

“Once we get information, you will see the changes that will take place.’’

Amosu noted that the Air Force had earlier scheduled to hold the 50th Anniversary alongside the Bi-annual Air Expo, but had to postpone it.

He said the expo was postponed because of the security challenges and the role of the Air Force in the fight against the insurgency.

“We are not cancelling the expo but we are postponing it and as long as election will take place, the expo will take place, we are putting it toward the end of the year.

“In order to tackle headlong the insurgency challenges and stabilise the North-East without reducing our efforts, we sincerely regret any inconveniences this may cause our friends and partners.

“A new date will be announced in due course as the sovereignty and security of our nation is paramount,’’ the CAS said.

Amosu said that the 50th Anniversary of the Air Force was coming on the heels of national Centenary celebrations, adding that 50 years of loyal and dedicated service to the nation was not a small feat.

He said the Air Force had continued to play a critical role in ensuring the security and inviolability of Nigeria’s airspace.

Amosu said that the activities to mark the golden jubilee, included Jumat prayers and church service scheduled to hold on April 11 and April 13, respectively in all Air Force bases.

He said that a civil-military outreach to the public by Air Force medical personnel and the Nigerian Air Force officers Wives Association would be held on April 14.

Amosu said that the event would be rounded up with an anniversary dinner, adding that key individuals would be honoured and decorated with NAF 50th anniversary commemorative brooches.