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Federal High Court dismisses N21.5 billion money laundering charge against former Chief of Air Staff

The Federal High Court in Lagos State has thrown out a criminal case against former Chief of Air Staff Adesola Amosu and two other individuals for suspected N21.5 billion money laundering, marking a significant legal breakthrough.

Read also: ‘Should the court be blind?’ Retired Chief of Air Staff told to refund N57 million to FG or forfeit mansion

The defence attorney’s preliminary objection was upheld by Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke’s judgement on Tuesday morning. The opposition contended that the defendants were serving as military officers at the time of the alleged acts, casting doubt on the court’s authority to hear the case.

The defendants were re-arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on an amended 13-count charge of money laundering. However, the defence lawyers contended that as serving officers, the defendants could only be tried in a court-martial, not in a civilian court.

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The dismissal of the charges marks a significant turn in the legal proceedings, which have been closely watched by the public. It underscores the complexity of jurisdictional issues when military officers are involved in alleged criminal activities.

In a related development, Peter-Kings Osunde, General Manager of Blue Boulevard Limited, previously testified before a joint investigative committee of the House of Representatives on Air Force and Justice. Osunde revealed that he transferred N50 million into the personal account of Air Marshal Adesola Amosu (retd), former Chief of Air Staff, as gratification for building projects executed for the Nigerian Air Force in 2020.

The revelation came amidst an investigation into a controversial ₦10 billion building project owned by Blue Boulevard Limited, which had accused the military of breaching an agreement over a leased land. Osunde’s testimony shed light on allegations of bribery and corruption within the Nigerian Air Force, adding another layer of complexity to the ongoing legal saga.

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