A prosecution witness, Tosin Owobo, an investigator with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Tuesday told Justice M.B. Idris of the Federal High Court, Ikoyi, Lagos that N2.4 billion, $115 million, 12 properties and bullet-proof cars were recovered from a former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Adeola Amosu (rtd.).
Mr Amosu is standing trial alongside two serving senior Air Force officers: an Air Vice Marshal, Jacob Adigun, and an Air Commodore, Gbadebo Olugbenga, a former Director of Finance and Budget.
Also charged with the accused are seven companies namely Delfina Oil and Gas limited, McAllan 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.
At the resumed hearing on Tuesday, Mr Owobo told the court that his team members, in the course of investigation, visited the properties, including St. Solomon Health Care, a residential building in Yaba and another residential building in Badagry, that were recovered from Mr Amosu by the commission.
He said though the commission also recovered landed properties and buildings from the second and third defendants, no money was recovered from the second defendant.
Mr Owobo, who is the second prosecution witness, PW2, also stated that N383 million was recovered from the wife of the first defendant through a bank draft in favour of the federal government.
He also told the court that the third defendant made a draft of N100 million to the federal government through the commission’s recovery account.
Led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, Mr Owobo also stated that the commission had secured interim forfeiture order on all the properties seized from Mr Amosu and others.
“After securing the interim forfeiture order, the commission visited, marked, sealed and restricted all the properties to show the general public that the said properties are under investigations by the EFCC,” he said.
However, the defence team led by Bolaji Ayorinde objected the evidence of the prosecution witness, saying that any evidence of the interim order not before the court or in the proof of evidence was irrelevant to the proceedings.
He further argued that “the witness cannot allude until the documents are put before your Lordship either in the proof or additional proof of evidence.
“The witness cannot give evidence on the content of the interim forfeiture order because the court and the defence team have not sighted the documents.
“The evidence given by the witness is not captured in Section 379 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA). “
Mr Ayorinde also told the court that the evidence by the witness did not form part of the court records and that the interim forfeiture order had not been tendered before the court.
He therefore prayed the court expunge the evidence given by the witness.
In his response, Mr Oyedepo told the court that the submission of the defence was immature, adding that “My Lord, the witness confirmed to the court that the interim forfeiture order of the court was sought and obtained by the EFCC.
“The order contains the list of properties seized from Amosu and others. “
‘My Lord, the evidence cannot be said to be inadmissible”
Mr Oyedepo, who also told the court that Section 379 of the ACJA does not govern the receiving of evidence, further urged the court to allow the witness give evidence on what he knows about the matter.
In his short ruling, Justice Idris ruled in favour of the prosecution and asked the witness to continue his evidence.
After the court ruling, Mr Oyedepo asked for an adjournment to enable him prepare for another criminal trial involving the wife of former President Goodluck Jonathan, Patience Jonathan.
Consequently, the court adjourned the case to April 18, 2018 for continuation of trial.