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.

EFCC Vs Fmr NIMASA DG: Court Fixes Feb 21 To Rule On ‘No Case Submission’

EFCC Vs Fmr NIMASA DG: Court Fixes Feb 21 To Rule On 'No Case Submission'A Federal High Court in Lagos has reserved February 21 for judgment in a “no case submission” filed by Calistus Obi, a former acting Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, who is charged with a 136 million Naira fraud.

Justice Mojisola Olatoregun, fixed the date for judgment after hearing arguments from both defense and prosecuting counsels on the application.

Counsel to the former NIMASA boss, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Wale Akoni, told the court that the EFCC had not made out a prima facie case to secure the conviction of the defendants.

He also told the court that what the prosecuting agency merely did was to ‘bring out all manners of evidence before the court without doing more’.

Another Senior Advocate, Joseph Nwobike who appeared for the second defendant, one Ali Dimas, also urged the court to uphold the same application made by his client.

The EFCC Counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, however, opposed these arguments and submitted that the prosecution had shown how funds were transferred and diverted by both defendants.

He urged the court to discountenance the application and instead ask the defendants to open their defense.

Justice Olatoregun then adjourned till February 21 for judgment.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, had preferred an eight count charge against Mr. Callistus Obi and the second defendant, Alu Dismas, a former personal assistant to former DG of NIMASA, Patrick Akpobolokemi.

They had however pleaded not guilty to the charges and were admitted to bail in the sum of five million naira each.

Lagos CP Ordered To Place Convicted Ontario Oil MD Under Watch

Lagos CP Ordered To Place Convicted Ontario Oil MD Under Watch The Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja has ordered the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni to keep a close watch on the Managing Director of Ontario Oil and Gas, Adaoha Ugo-Nadagi, who collapsed on Friday after she was convicted of a 744 million naira fuel subsidy scam.

Presiding judge, Justice Lateefa Okunnu of a Lagos High Court, on Monday, ordered the medical directors of Havana Hospital, Surulere and the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), to both swear to an affidavit of means, clearly stating the status of her health.

At Monday’s proceedings, counsel to Ndagi, told the court that after she collapsed on Friday she was rushed to Havana Hospital where she was placed on life support and oxygen.

She was then transferred to LUTH where she has been receiving treatment.

EFCC counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, however asked the court to pronounce the sentence in the absence of the convicts.

In her ruling, Justice Okunnu noted that there seems to be a lacuna in the law as to the sentencing of the convicts in absentia. She however reserved the sentencing till Wednesday, January 18 2017.

Ndagi, oil mogul, Walter Wagbasoma and their company, Ontario Oil and Gas were convicted by the court for their roles in a N744m subsidy fraud brought against them by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

630m Naira Fraud: Rickey Tarfa’s Client Know Fate April 27

Rickey TarfaRuling on the application filed by Mr Rickey Tarfa, seeking to quash the charge preferred against two of his clients, Gnanhoue Sourou Nazaire and Senou Modeste Finagnon, has been adjourned till April 27.  

Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Lagos State High Court adjourned the case on Tuesday.

Both men, who are citizens of Republic of Benin, are standing trial for allegedly defrauding one Rachidatou Abdou and her company 630 million Naira.

Upon their arraignment on February 17, they pleaded not guilty to the charge.

At the resumed hearing of the matter on Tuesday, Mr Tarfa filed an application backed by a 50 paragraph affidavit urging the court to quash the charge against his clients on the grounds that it lacked jurisdiction to hear the matter.

He also alleged that the charge was incompetent and that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission was prosecuting his clients without any petition from anybody.

However, EFCC’s counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, in an 11 paragraphs counter affidavit, asked the court to assume jurisdiction and hear the matter.

Mr Rotimi stated that most of the averments contained in the first and second defendant’s application were false.

He said: “The Commission does not need a petition to prosecute a matter even though it received a petition from one Rachidatou Abdou through the Law Firm of Falana and Falana against the defendants”.

On the competency of the charge, the prosecuting counsel submitted that upon receipt of the petition, the Commission assigned a team of investigators to investigate the case and that investigation revealed that the defendants conspired to commit felony, forgery and stealing.

Mr Rotimi also told the court to dismiss the submission of the defendant, as the Commission was a Federal Government agency statutorily empowered to prosecute cases of this nature.

He added that the office of the Attorney General of Lagos State had through a fiat conceded its prosecutorial powers to the Commission to prosecute economic and financial crime related offences in the state.

The defendants are facing a seven-count charge of alleged forgery, stealing and conversion of funds.

One of the counts read: “You, Gnanhoue Sourou Nazaire and Senou Modeste Finagnon between 5 January and 31 December 2012 in Lagos within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, with a dishonest intent, converted to your own use the sum of 141,460,915 Naira property of Rana Prestige Manufacturers Industries Nigeria Limited and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 285(1) of the Criminal Code Law of Lagos State”.

Justice Taiwo adjourned the case to April 27 for ruling.