How NAF boss converted NIMASA emergency funds, says witness
A detective with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Tosin Owobo, yesterday narrated how Air Commodore Gbadebo Olugbenga, a former Director of Finance and Budget of Nigerian Air Force (NAF), converted Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Emergency funds to his personal use.
Air Commodore Gbadebo is on trial before Justice Mohammed Idris led of the federal high court, Lagos alongside Air Marshal Adesola Nunayon Amosu, a former Chief of Air Staff (COAS), Air Vice Marshal Jacob Bola Adigun, a former Chief of Accounts and Budgeting of Nigeria Air Force (NAF) as well as eight limited liability companies.
The companies are Delfina Oil and Gas Ltd, Mcallan Oil And Gas Limited, Hebron Housing and Properties Company Limited, Trapezites BDC, Fonds and Pricey Ltd, Deegee Oil and Gas Limited, Timsegg Investment Limited and Solomon Health Care.
At the resumed hearing of the trial yesterday, Owobo, who is a witness for the EFCC informed the court that in the course of investigating and analysing how N3 billion released by NIMASA to NAF for securing the nation’s Maritime on Emergency Security Operation was spent, discovered that Gbadebo transferred some of the funds to Timsec Investment Limited.
Owobo who was led in evidence by the EFCC prosecutor, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, also informed the court that his investigation team also discovered that parts of the NIMASA’s funds were also transferred to Hebron Investment Limited and Gbemisola Ventures, the companies that were registered and operated by Air Commodore Gbadebo.
Though, he did not mention the amount transferred from the NAF account to Gbadebo’s companies. However, attempt by the witness to give details on the companies’ banks statements, account opening packages, and mandate forms, was opposed by defence counsel comprising Chief Bolaji Ayorinde (SAN), Norrison Quakers (SAN), Oluwakemi Balogun (SAN), Rotimi Ogunesan (SAN)and other lawyers.
Oyedepo cited section 221(3) of Evidence Act, which he said empowered the witness to give evidence on the documents tendered before the court.
However, the matter has been adjourned till February 22, 23 and 24, for ruling on the argument and continuation of trial.
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