• Commission seals farms, shopping plazas, hotels in Lagos, Abuja
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has seized 29 properties from the immediate past Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu; a former Chief of Accounts and Budgeting in NAF, Air Vice Marshal Jacob Adigun (retd.); and a former Director of Finance and Budget, Air Commodore Olugbenga Gbadebo (retd.).
No fewer than 11 properties were seized from Amosu; 12 were seized from Adigun and six from Gbadebo.
Our correspondent learnt on Sunday that the properties included three plazas, six mansions, a quarry, a hospital, a block of flats, animal farms, a school, two hotels, some uncompleted buildings and some parcels of land.
According to documents made available exclusively to The PUNCH, the properties were acquired mostly in 2014.
The properties seized from Adigun were said to be worth N9.6bn.
Some of the properties include a shopping plaza known as Capadar Plaza on Adetokunbo Ademola Crescent, Wuse 2, which is worth N980m; a residential mansion on Lake Chad Street, Maitama, Abuja, worth N450m; an executive mansion in Imo River Close, Off Dandube Crescent, Maitama, worth N710m and a four-unit terrace on Agadez Street, Off Aminu Kano Crescent, Wuse 2, worth N720m.
Other properties, said to belong to Adigun, include a 35-room uncompleted hotel on Salt Lake Street, Maitama, Abuja; a parcel of land located on Bourdillon Street, Ikoyi, Lagos; a block of 12 service flats, located on Agodogba Street, Park View Estate, Ikoyi, said to be worth N1.8bn and a quarry in Bwari area of Abuja worth about $694,000.
The source added that all the properties had been temporarily seized.
He added, “Adigun spent most of his own share of the money on properties and so we did not recover much cash from him. Amosu, however, returned over N2.3bn and raised two bank drafts.”
He added that some of the properties seized from Amosu included a house on Adeyemo Alakija Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, worth N250m; a duplex at House 11, Peace Court Estate, GRA, Ikeja, Lagos, worth N110m; a N40m property located at NAF Harmony Estate, Asokoro Base and a five-bedroomed house at Valley NAF Estate, Port Harcourt, worth N33m.
Others include a hospital on Adeniyi Jones Avenue, Ikeja, known as St. Solomon Hospital with equipment worth $2.15m and a N95m house on Umaru Dikko Street, Jabi, Abuja.
The properties seized from Gbadebo include a fish farm worth N10m; a N20m poultry, located at Musa Close, Oyibo Ayobu, Lagos and a school known as Bloomsville International School, Divine Estate, Isheri-Olofin , off Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
The three suspects will be arraigned by the anti-graft agency this week.
The retired military officers were accused of diverting public funds to the tune of N21,467,674,707.43 in 2014.
Others charged alongside the accused persons are Delfina Oil and Gas Limited, McCallan Oil and Gas Limited, Hebron Housing and Properties Company Limited, Trapezites BDC, Funds and Pricey Limited, Degree Oil and Gas Limited, Timsegg Investment Limited and Solomon Healthcare Limited.
One of the charges read in part, “That you (accused persons) on or about the 5th day of March 2014 in Lagos, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, conspired amongst yourselves to commit an offence to wit conversion of the sum of N21,467,674,707.43, property of the Nigerian Air Force which was derived from stealing which is contrary to Section18 (A) of the Money Laundering Act of 2012 (as amended) and punishable under Section 15 (3) of the same Act.”
According to other charges, the accused persons had allegedly used some of the aforementioned companies, which they own, to award phantom contracts to themselves.
A prosecution witness for the EFCC, in a case against a former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh (retd.), had revealed in court how N558m was diverted from the accounts of the air force monthly.
The EFCC was said to have based its investigation on the alleged diversion of N558m and the diversion of funds allocated to the Nigerian Air Force for the procurement of arms, fighter jets and other equipment.
Amosu and his predecessor, Badeh, were, in January, arrested for the non-specification of procurement costs, absence of contract agreements, award of contracts beyond authorised thresholds, transfer of public funds for unidentified purposes and general non-adherence to provisions of the Public Procurement Act.
The investigation also centred on the payment of N4,402,687,569.41 for unexecuted contracts; the procurement of two used Mi-24V helicopters instead of the recommended Mi-35M series at $136,944,000.00; four used Alpha-Jets for the NAF at US$7,180,000, funded by ONSA; the cannibalisation of engines from NAF fleet to justify procurement of jets; and the excessive pricing of 36D6 Low Level Air Defence Radar at $33m instead of $6m per one.