14 June 2018

Nigeria: Court Grants Temporary Forfeiture of ₦2.2 Billion Recovered From Ex-Air Chief Amosu

A Lagos Division of the Federal High Court has granted a temporary forfeiture of ₦2.2 billion recovered from Adesola Amosu, a former Chief of Air Staff.

Mojisola Olatoregun, the judge, made the order following an application brought by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

"An interim order is made forfeiting to the Federal Government of Nigeria the total sum of N2,244,500,000 found and recovered by the Commission from the first respondent (Amosu) which sum is reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activity," the judge said in her ruling.

The judge also granted an interim order for the temporary forfeiture of N190,828,978.15 recovered from a former Nigeria Air Force Director of Finance and Budget, Olugbenga Gbadebo, an Air Commodore.

Ms Olatoregun also ordered temporary forfeiture of N101 million recovered from Solomon Enterprises, a company linked to Mr Amosu.

The EFCC said the sum "is reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activity."

The judge directed EFCC to publish the interim order in The Nation and Punch newspapers so that the respondents or anyone interested can show cause why the final order of forfeiture should not be made in favour of the Federal Government.

Ms Olatoregun made the order on June 7 after the ex-parte application was moved by the EFCC's lawyer, Rotimi Oyedepo.

She adjourned till June 29.

The defendants were accused of using the companies to convert and conceal the money.

Messrs Amosu and Adigun were said to have, between July 17 and September 16, 2014, allegedly removed over ₦663.4million from the Nigerian Air Force accounts to purchase properties at 50-52 Tenterden Grove, London (NW41TH) and at 93B Shirehall Park, London (NW4 2QU), United Kingdom.

They were accused of buying properties at 40A Bourdillon, Ikoyi, with ₦900 million and at Sinari Daranijo in Victoria Island with ₦1.5 billion.

The EFCC said they also bought a property named as Cappadol Mall at Adetokunbo Ademola Street, Wuse II Abuja, for ₦750 million, as well as a property worth over ₦1.7 billion at Agobogba Street, Parkview, Ikoyi Lagos, using Airforce's fund.

Other properties they allegedly bought using pilfered funds include one at Salt Lake Street, Maitama, Abuja; 61A Lake Chad Street, Maitama, Abuja; 61A Lake Chad Street, Maitama, Abuja; and one at 1, River Street, Wuse II Abuja.

The accused also allegedly used ₦428,139,539 removed from the accounts of the Nigerian Air Force to renovate and purchase medical equipment for Solomon HealthCare Ltd situate at 24 Adeniyi Jones Street, Ikeja, Lagos.

They all pleaded not guilty.

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