Former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu (retd.), and two
others, who are facing prosecution by Economic and Financial Crimes
Commission, EFCC for an alleged N21billion fraud on Thursday, July 4,
2019, informed Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of the Federal High Court,
sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos of their willingness to enter into a plea
bargain with the EFCC.
Amosu, the first defendant is standing trial alongside Air Vice Marshall
Jacobs Adigun, a former Chief of Accounts and Budgeting and Air
Commodore Gbadebo Owodunni, a former Director of Finance and Budget, in
the Nigerian Air Force, NAF, both of who are second and third defendants
respectively on an amended 13-count charge, bordering on conspiracy and
conversion to personal use of the sum of N21billion belonging to NAF.
The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges.
At today’s sitting, prosecution counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, informed the
court that the defendants, through their lawyers, wrote the EFCC,
expressing their willingness to enter into a plea bargain over their
alleged crimes. Oyedepo, however, expressed worry that the defendants
and their counsels have not shown commitment towards the plea bargain
they requested and in the general resolution of the matter.
“After receiving the letter from the defendants, indicating their
willingness to enter into a plea bargain. I made several phone calls to
the defence team as I was directed by the EFCC, urging them to come to
the EFCC office for a meeting, but they have not shown up. So, it
appears to me that the defence and their clients are not committed
towards the resolution of this matter,” Oyedepo told the court.
He further stated that if the defence team refused to come for the
meeting before the next adjourned date, the prosecution will have no
choice than to continue with the trial.
In his response, counsel to Amosu, Chief Bolaji Ayorinde, SAN, told the
court that they did not honour the invitation to the meeting because the
Commission had not formally responded to their letter. Ayorinde noted
that the EFCC only made an oral, rather than a formal invitation for the
Counsel to AVM Adigun, the second defendant, Norrison Quarkers, SAN, and
counsel to Owodunni, the third defendant aligned themselves with
Ayorinde’s submission, insisting that the EFCC needed to respond to
their letter in writing, and further told the court of their willingness
to continue with the plea bargain with the Commission.
Quarkers also brought before the court a “Motion on Notice” seeking the
temporary release of the international passport of his client to allow
him travel out of the country on medical grounds.
Responding to the motion, Oyedepo told the court that the application
was just served on the prosecution two days back and that he would need
ample time to respond to it.
Justice Aneke adjourned the case to October 9, 2019 for hearing of the
application and continuation of trial.