Amosu How witness stalled ex-Air Force Chief trial over passport

A witness stalled the trial of ex-Air Force Chief over the demand of his international passport at Federal High Court in Abuja.

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Former Chief of Air Staff,  Rtd. Air Marshal Adesola Amosu play

Former Chief of Air Staff,  Rtd. Air Marshal Adesola Amosu

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The trial of former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu rtd, and 10 others was on Friday stalled before a Federal High Court in Lagos, following the demand of a witness’ international passport.

Amosun is charged alongside two other officers of the Air Force – Air Vice Marshal Jacob Adigun and Air Commodore Gbadebo Olugbenga.

Also charged are  Delfina Oil and Gas Ltd, McAllan Oil and Gas Ltd, Hebron Housing and Properties Company Ltd,  Trapezites BDC, and Fonds and Pricey Ltd.

The accused are being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) before Justice Mohammed Idris.
They were arraigned on June 26 and had pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The judge had then granted them bail in the sum of N500 million each with two sureties each in like sum.

On Friday, trial of the accused was stalled due to the demand by one of the defence counsel, Mr Norrison Quakers (SAN) that a prosecution witness, one Mojeed Olatunji should produce his international passport.

Olatunji, a compliant officer with Skye Bank Plc, had commenced his testimony before the court on Oct. 20 and the court had fixed Friday for his cross-examination.

Defence counsel, (Quakers) had questioned the identity of the witness and demanded that he tendered his passport to prove that he is the same person that signed a letter he had earlier presented in court.

When the witness could not present the passport, the lawyer asked the trial judge, Justice Mohammed Idris to adjourn the case to enable the witness produced the document.

In spite of objections from the prosecutor, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, who argued that the development was a ploy by the defence to delay the matter, the judge granted the adjournment.

According to the judge, it is in the interest of justice to grant the adjournment. He added that although a trial must be conducted without unnecessary delays, a defendant must be given enough time to defend himself.

He, therefore, adjourned the case to October 24, 2016 for continuation of trial.

The charges against the accused borders on conspiracy, stealing and money laundering.

In one of the counts, the accused were said to have indirectly converted the sum of N3.6 billion belonging to the Nigerian Air force, to their own use.

ALSO READ: Judge adjourns ex-Air Force chief's trial as EFCC calls witness

In another instance, the EFCC alleged that Amosun and the others stole over N323 million from the accounts of the Nigerian Air Force between March 21, 2014 and March 12, 2015.

He said the alleged theft was for the purpose of purchasing for themselves a property situated at No.1, River Street, Wuse II Abuja.

The alleged offences were said to have contravened the provisions of Sections 18(a) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) (Amendment) Act, 2012.

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