The chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu, has revealed that over N2 billion and 33 properties were recovered from three air force personnel.
The seizures were made from the immediate past Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu; former Director of Finance and Budget, Nigeria Air Force (NAF), Air Commodore Olugbenga Gbadebo (rtd) and former Chief of Accounts and Budgeting in NAF, Air Vice Marshal Jacob Adigun (rtd). The trio is presently facing a 26-count charge of fraud and money laundering.
New Telegraph learnt that the monies were recovered from various bank accounts linked to Amosu, Adigun and Gbadebo.
It was learnt that the properties include luxury apartments, hotels, shopping malls, mansions parcels of land and ultramodern diagnostic centre located in highbrow areas of Lagos and Abuja.
Magu, who made the disclosure yesterday at the EFCC Ikoyi, Lagos office, during a tour of the commission’s detention facilities, added that it was shocking that just three men could steal such a stag gering amount of money from public treasury.
Magu, who was represented by the Deputy Director of Operations, Mr. Iliyasu Kwarbai, said one of the properties is valued at N1.8 billion.
According to him, the total value of the 33 properties is over N12 billion. Magu noted that the three air force personnel are presently asking for plea bargaining. He said: “Plea bargaining lessens time wastage and money spent on prosecution. Usually, it’s the accused person that applies to the EFCC for plea bargain.
In the arms deal investigation, we recovered over N2 billion cash from three air force personnel. We also recovered over 33 properties from them. One of the properties is valued at N1.8 billion. “They have applied for plea bargaining. It means they have pleaded guilty.
The punishment will be mitigated and we’ll still recover some of Nigeria’s stolen assets and they’ll still serve punishment.” On the tour of the detention facilities, Magu said that the commission wanted to show members of the public how transparent the EFCC was. He said that suspects were never unduly detained, beaten or harassed.
According to him presently, the Lagos Zone has just 22 suspects, including one female in detention.
His words: “We feed our detainees three times a day. We don’t beat or abuse suspects. We don’t box them. We don’t extort. We’re not armchair investigators. We go to banks and get our facts. Some of them insult us, but we don’t reply. We’re a group of professionals. All we want are answers to some questions. We confront them with facts and figures.” He disclosed that most suspects involved in high profile cases, easily fall sick once they are detained.
He said: “The moment we take them to our detention facility at Okotie Eboh in Lagos, they fall sick. They fall sick because they have been living in luxury with our collective stolen wealth.” Magu, who also conducted journalists and civil rights organisations round the EFCC clinic, said the facility was for both suspects and staff.
He said that once any suspect complains of ill health, the person would be taken to the clinic, where they have standby doctors.
If the EFCC doctors couldn’t handle the illness, the suspect is immediately referred to another hospital. The EFCC usually picks the bill for such medical expenses.
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