The alarmingly large amount of money which has been diverted from the Nigerian Air Force within months, has been exposed.
Nigeria’s anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Thursday demonstrated before the Federal High Court in Lagos how a total of N677,6777,085 was allegedly diverted from the coffers of the Nigerian Air Force between March 2014 and April 2015, The Nation reports.
According to the agency, the fund was moved in several tranches into the Ecobank account of a company identified as Hebron Housing and Properties Company Ltd.
An investigator with the anti-graft agency, Tosin Owobo, stated this at the resumed trial of a former Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshall Adesola Amosu (retd.), and 10 others for an alleged fraud of N22.8bn.
Those standing trial alongside Amosu are a former Chief of Accounts and Budgeting at the NAF, Air Vice Marshal Jacob Adigun; and a former Director of Finance and Budget, Air Commodore Olugbenga Gbadebo.
The EFCC alleged that the defendants diverted N22.8bn, belonging to the Nigerian Air Force, using a number of companies.
The said companies were also joined as defendants in the charge.
They are Delfina Oil and Gas Ltd., McAllan Oil And Gas Ltd, Hebron Housing and Properties Company Ltd., Trapezites BDC, Fonds and Pricey Ltd., Deegee Oil and Gas Ltd., Timsegg Investment Ltd., and Solomon Health Care Ltd.
The 11 defendants were arraigned before Justice Mohammed Idris on June 29, 2016 but they pleaded not guilty to the 26 counts pressed against them.
Owobo is the second witness to be called by the EFCC in a bid to prove its allegations against the defendants.
Led in evidence on Thursday by the prosecuting counsel for the EFCC, Rotimi Oyedepo, Owobo, who was armed with the statement of account of Hebron Housing and Properties Company Ltd., gave a step-by-step account of how the Ecobank account of the company was credited with a N677,677,085 by the NAF.
The transactions, according to him, took place between March 5, 2014 and ended on April 7, 2015.
The funds, he said, were either transferred from the Nigerian Air Force Special Emergency Operations account or from the HQ NAF Mininstry of Defence account into the Ecobank account of Hebron Housing and Properties Company Ltd.
In his earlier testimony of January 25, 2017, Owobo had told the court how the NAF account was credited by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency sometime in 2014 for security operations.
He said rather than use the money for the intended purpose, the funds were diverted by Amosu and others using a number of companies including Housing and Properties Company Ltd.
Justice Idris adjourned till Friday to rule on the admissibility of a letter written to the EFCC by the United Bank for Africa in respect of Solomon Health Care Ltd., which was also listed as one of the companies used to divert the NAF funds.