Court dismisses N21bn money laundering charge against former Air Chief, Amosun

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The Federal High Court in Lagos on tuesday dismissed the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s N21.5 billion money laundering accusations against Adesola Amosun, a former Chief of Air Staff, and two other individuals.

On June 29, 2016, the EFCC charged Amosun, Air Vice Marshal Jacob Adigun, former Nigeria Air Force Chief of Accounts and Budgeting, and Air Commodore Gbadebo Olugbenga, former Director of Finance and Budget, with 26 counts.

They were re-arraigned before Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke on a 13-count amended allegation of money laundering totaling N21.5 billion, marked FHC/L/280C/16.

The accused were charged with alleged conspiracy and conversion of NAF funds for personal benefit.

In a ruling on Tuesday on the application filed by the defendants asking the court to quash the charge brought against them, Justice Aneke granted their prayers, by upholding a preliminary objection challenging the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the case on the grounds that the defendants were serving officers of the military at the time

Defence counsel had argued that the defendants were, therefore, only subject to trial by a court-martial, since they were still officers during the period

The judge held, “As officers of the armed forces, they ought to have been first investigated by the armed forces and tried rather than charging them before this court.”

He declared the investigation of Amosun dated January 30, 2015, null and void.

Justice Aneke also quashed the amended charges against the defendants.