N2.2bn Fraud: Court Fixes Nov. 12 for Hearing of Final Forfeiture Suit Against Amosu

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A Federal High Court, Lagos, Tuesday, fixed November 12, to hear a motion, seeking final forfeiture to the Federal Government, of the sum of N2.2 billion recovered from a former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu (rtd).

Justice Cecelia Mojisola Olatoregun had on June 14, issued an interim order of forfeiture of the sum, following an exparte motion filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Joinend as respondents in the suit are Amosu, and a company, Solomon Enterprises Limited.

The EFCC had argued that the sums were reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activities.

Justice Olatoregun had also issued an interim order for the temporary forfeiture of N190 million recovered from a former Air Force Director of Finance and Budget, Air Commodore Olugbenga Gbadebo.

The court had also ordered a temporary forfeiture of N101 million recovered from Solomon Enterprises, a company linked to Amosu.

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The judge had then directed the EFCC to publish the interim orders in two national dailies, for the respondents or any interested party, to show cause why a final order of forfeiture should not be made.

At the last adjourned date on October 29, the court had adjourned the suit to enable parties respond to the suit.

At the resumed hearing of the matter today, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo appeared for the EFCC while Mr Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN) appeared for the first  respondent.

Mr Oluwakemi Balogun (SAN) aannounced appearance for the Intervener/interested party (Bolaji Adigun)

Balogun however, informed the court that his junior counsel, Mr Dapo Ogungbe will move the application.

Meanwhile, Ayorinde, informed the court that he had a motion seekimg to regularise, as well as another, seeking extension of time for the first respondent to file an affidavit to show cause, as directed by the court.

After moving his applications, the court granted same.

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On the other hand, Mr Dapo Ogungbe, moving his application on behalf of an interested party, (Bolaji Adigun), informed the court of a letter seeking to withdraw an earlier application to discharge the interim order.

The court accordingly struck out same.

He, then informed the court of another application, asking the court to join the interested party in the suit, as well as a motion, seeking extension of time for the interested party to file an affidavit to show cause as ordered by the court.

He told the court that same had been served on the EFCC.

In response, however, Oyedepo informed the court that he had only been served with a counter affidavit of the interested party, but had not received both the application for joinder and that seeking extension of time.

Following this development, and the court, observing that there were no proof of service in its file, Justice Olatoregun adjourned the case until November 2 for hearing of all applications. While ordered counsels to ensure proper service.

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In a counter affidavit deposed to by an EFCC operative, Danladi, the commission alleged that while in office, the respondents  diverted huge sums of money from the Nigerian Air force accounts, to purchase properties both within and outside the country.

He said that Amosu who was appointed Chief of staff on Jan.16, 2014, had in the course of his service, received budgetary provisions in the sum of N4.5 billion, from Patrick Akpobolokemi, a former Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).

The sum was said to be for Maritime Security Support, pursuant to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Nigerian Air force and NIMASA.

The Commission averred that part of the sums were utilised by the respondent for personal gains.

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