Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN), the lawyer to former Chief of Air Staff, Adesola Amosu, has informed the court that the principal surety of his client, John Chido Okeke, has signified intentions to withdraw from the surety agreement he entered on behalf of the former chief of air staff, as part of the bail conditions imposed by the court.
Ayorinde made the announcement on Thursday, before Justice Muhammed Idris of the Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos, during the continuation of the money laundering trial of Amosu and 11 others.
“The first defendant principal surety intends to withdraw his suretyship and the process of substituting the surety is ongoing” Ayorinde said.
Also, the judge, in a short ruling before Ayorinde informed the court of the surety, ruled that some bank documents presented by the EFCC were admissible hence accepted in evidence.
Amosu alongside Air vice Marshal Jacob Bola Adigun and Air Commodore Gbadebo Owodunni Olugbenga and 9 companies were arraigned on a 26 count charge by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on June 29, 2016, and were granted bail with some conditions.
The companies in the suit are; Delfina Oil and Gas Limited, Macallan Oil and Gas Limited, Hebron Housing and Properties Company Limited, Trapezites BDC Fonds and Pricey Limited, Deegee Oil and Gas Limited, Timsegg Investment Limited and Solomon Health Care Limited.
Justice Idris, upon arraignment, ordered the defendants to pay a sum of N500 million each with two sureties in like sum. The sureties, he said, must have landed properties within the jurisdiction of the court and must deposit the title document of the properties to the registrar of the court.
The court also asked the defendants to deposit their international passports to the court.
According to the anti-graft agency, Amosu and others were charged for stealing, concealing the proceeds of criminal activities and conversion of funds belonging to the Nigerian Air Force for personal use.
They were accused of converting the sum of N21.5 billion property of the Nigerian Air Force and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 18(a) of the money laundering Prohibition and Amendment Act, 2012.
The count two of the charge was that; "Air Marshal Adesola Amosu; Air Vice Marshal Jacob Bola Adigun; Air Commodore, Gbadebo Olugbenga; Delfina Oil and Gas Limited; Macallan Oil and Gas Limited; Hebron Housing and Properties Company Limited; Trapezites BDC Fonds and Pricey Limited; Deegee Oil and Gas Limited; Timsegg Investment Limited; and Solomon Health Care Limited, on or about the 5th day of March, 2014 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Court conspired amongst yourselves to commit an offence, to wit: concealing the proceeds of crime in the sum of N21,467,634,707.43 and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012 and punishable under Section 17(a) of the same Act."
The defendants were also accused of using the sum of N323,319,283.81 removed from the accounts of the Nigerian Air Force between the 21st day of March, 2014 and 12th day of March, 2015, to purchase for themselves a property situate at No.1, River Street, Wuse II Abuja, which sum "you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of an unlawful act, to wit: stealing and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15(1) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012 and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act."
They were also accused of indirectly converting the sum of N3.6 billion belonging to the Nigerian Air Force among others.
The last count says; “That you, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu Nunayon (Rtd) And Air Vice Marshal Jacob Bola Adigun between the 6th day of March and 30th day of April,2015, in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, did use the sum of N428,139,539.00 (Four Hundred and Twenty Eight Million, One Hundred and Thirty Nine Thousand, Five Hundred and Thirty Nine Naira) removed from the accounts of the Nigerian Air Force to renovate and purchase medical equipment for your Solomon HealthCare Ltd situate at 24th Adeniyi Jones Street, Ikeja Lagos, which sum you reasonably ought to have known forms part of the proceeds of an unlawful act, to wit: stealing and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15(1) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012 and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.”
The case was adjourned to November 7 and 8 for the continuation of trial.