The four-year-old N21.4bn fraud trial of a former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu (retd.), and two others, may have suffered another setback due to the relocation abroad of Mr Tosin Owobo, an investigator of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, who handled the case.
The EFCC charged Amosu, alongside a former NAF Director of Finance and Budget, Air Commodore Olugbenga Gbadebo; and a former NAF Chief of Accounts and Budgeting, Air Vice Marshal Jacob Adigun, with an alleged fraud of N21.4bn.
The trial, which started in June 2016, has not made much progress, as the EFCC investigator, Owobo, who is the first prosecution witness, has not concluded his testimony, despite that the case has been on for four years.
Our correspondent, however, gathered that Owobo had relocated out of Nigeria to Canada and had ruled out the possibility of giving his evidence via videoconferencing.
When our correspondent contacted the EFCC lawyer handling the case, Mr Rotimi Oyedepo, to ask how the anti-graft agency intended to proceed in the circumstance, the lawyer said there was no cause for alarm because Owobo was not the only investigator who worked on the case.
But with Owobo gone, the four-year-old case may be starting afresh, for the third time, if the EFCC brings in another investigator as a replacement for Owobo.
The defendants were first arraigned in June 2016 before Justice Mohammed Idris.
Following the elevation of Justice Idris to the Court of Appeal, the matter was reassigned to Justice C.J. Aneke, before whom the defendants were re-arraigned and the case started afresh, with the first prosecution witness, Owobo, starting his evidence afresh.
The introduction of another witness to replace Owobo will mean that the case will be starting all over again.
The anti-graft agency alleged they diverted the N21.4bn using several firms.
But the defendants pleaded not guilty.
Source : PUNCH NEWS