N22.8bn fraud: Again, ex-Chief of Air Staff Amosu, others agree to plea bargain

N22.8bn fraud: Again, ex-Chief of Air Staff Amosu, others agree to plea bargain

Former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Adesola Amosu, and ten others who are currently facing trial over an alleged N22.8 billion fraud have once again declared their intention to enter into a plea bargain arrangement with the Federal government. Amosun and ten others are facing trial for the offence before the Federal High Court,

Former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Adesola Amosu, and ten others who are currently facing trial over an alleged N22.8 billion fraud have once again declared their intention to enter into a plea bargain arrangement with the Federal government.

Amosun and ten others are facing trial for the offence before the Federal High Court, Lagos.

Amosu, was arraigned on June 29, 2016 by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) alongside two senior serving Air Force officers, Air Vice Marshal Jacob Bola Adigun and Air Commodore Gbadebo, Owodunni Olugbenga, and seven companies before Justice Muhammed Idris, before the judge was elevated as judge of Court of Appeal; he was later re-arraigned before Justice Chukwujeku Aneke.

The trio was alleged to have conspired to convert funds belonging to the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), to their personal use, sometime in 2014.

On the issue of plea bargain arrangement, this is not the first time that parties would declare their intention to explore a plea bargain arrangement. The first attempt failed which led to the commencement of trial against the defendants.

At resumed hearing of the case on Tuesday again, counsel to the former Air Chief, Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN) informed Justice Aneke that his client and the other defendants had re-opened talks with the EFCC to achieve a swifter end to the proceedings which started in 2016.

He said: “I had a discussion with the prosecution on behalf of my learned silks and intimated him that this matter is one in which on our part, we are trying to look for a swifter end to the proceedings. It started in 2016 and could go on and on. We have not even opened our defence.

“We have tried in the past but we want to try again and so there may be no need to further dissipate energy this afternoon, Ayorinde stated.

The EFCC counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo who was present in court also admitted that talks had indeed resumed.

Justice Aneke acknowledged that this was provided for and allowed under the laws; he then asked the parties to confer and let the court know when they would be willing to come back to give an update.

After conferring, parties agreed to come back to the court on May 23, 2019, at noon.

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