First Bank, FCMB Named in N22.8bn NIMASA Fraud

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Mr. Tosin Owobo, a detective with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Thursday, narrated how United Bank for Africa (UBA) and First City Monument Bank (FCMB), were used by Air Commodore Gbadebo Olugbenga, a former Director of Finance and Budget of Nigerian Air Force (NAF), to siphoned Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Emergency funds to NAF, to his personal businesses.

Air Commodore Gbadebo is being arraigned before Justice Mohammed Idris led-Court alongside Air Marshal Adesola Nunayon Amosu, a former Chief of Air Staff (COAS), Air Vice Marshal Jacob Bola Adigun, a former Chief of Accounts and Budgeting of Nigeria Air Force (NAF), and eight limited liability company.

The companies are: Delfina Oil and Gas Ltd, Mcallan Oil And Gas Limited, Hebron Housing and Properties Company Limited, Trapezites BDC, Fonds and Pricey Ltd, Deegee Oil and Gas Limited, Timsegg Investment Limited and Solomon Health Care.

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At the resumed hearing of the criminal trial on Thursday, Owobo, informed the court that in the course of Investigating and analysing how the N3 billion released by NIMASA to NAF for securing the nation’s Maritime on Emergency Security Operation account, it was discovered that Gbadebo transferred some of the funds to Timsec Investment Limited

Owobo who was led in evidence by the EFCC prosecutor, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, also informed the court that his Investigating team also discovered that parts of the NIMASA’s funds were also transferred to Hebron Investment Limited and Gbemisola Ventures, the companies that registered and operated by Air Commodore Gbadebo.

He further informed the court that these companies accounts domiciled in UBA and FCMB.

Though, he did not mention the amount transferred from the NAF account to Gbadebo’s companies.

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However, attempt by the witness to give details on the companies’ banks statements, account opening packages, and mandate forms, was opposed by lawyer to Gbadebo and his Companies. The move which was supported by other lawyers representing the defendants.

Other defendants’ lawyers including; Chief Bolaji Ayorinde, Norrison Quakers, Oluwakemi Balogun, Rotimi Ogunesan, all Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs), and other lawyers.

In response to the defence opposition, the prosecutor, Oyedepo, urged the court to discontinuance the defence objections.

Oyedepo cited section 221(3) of Evidence Act, which he said empowered the witness to give evidence on the documents tendered before the court.

However, the matter has been adjourned till February 22, 23 and 24, for ruling on the argument and continuation of trial.

It would be recalled that Owobo, had on Wednesday, told the Court, how Air Marshal Amosu, Adigun and Gbadebo diverted the sum of N3 billion meant for Security of country’s Maritime to his personal oil and gas companies.

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Air Marshal Amosu, Air Vice Marshal Adigun, Air Commodore Owodunni Olugbenga and their eight companies, are being tried before the court by the EFCC over alleged N22.8 billion fraud.

The companies facing trial with the three Airforce Chiefs are: Delfina Oil and Gas Ltd, Mcallan Oil And Gas Limited, Hebron Housing and Properties Company Limited, Trapezites BDC, Fonds and Pricey Ltd, Deegee Oil and Gas Limited, Timsegg Investment Limited and Solomon Health Care.

The accused persons were first arraigned before the court on June 29, on 23 counts charge bordering on Fraud, money laundering, and stealing.

The offences are contrary to sections 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012, and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same .

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