From: Lukman Olabiyi
John Okeke, surety for embattled former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu (rtd.), on Thursday, added to his problem by withdrawing his suretyship for the defendant.
Marshal Amosu is standing trial over alleged N22.8bn fraud.
At the resumed hearing of the matter, on Thursday, before Justice Mohammed Idris of the Federal High Court, Lagos, Okeke sought to retrieve the title documents of his landed property, which he had deposited in the court’s custody to secure bail for Amosu.
The surety, who arrived the courtroom very early before the judge’s arrival, told Justice Idris that he had an urgent need of the title documents of his landed property, adding that he had been making a demand for the title documents since April.
The surety, who sought the court audience stated: “I submitted a letter five months ago. I have been trying to withdraw the documents since April. I want to use it for family reasons,” he said.
After listening to him, Justice Idris assured him that he would get the documents same day (Thursday). .
“You can withdraw; as soon as the court finishes the business for today, your documents will be released to you,” Justice Idris said.
In granting the bail to the defendants the Judge held that the sureties must be owners of landed properties within the jurisdiction of the court, adding that the title documents of the properties must be deposited with the registrar of the court.
Each of the sureties, the judge said, was also to swear to an affidavit of means, which must be verified by the prosecution.
Amosu and his co-defendants had been enjoying the bail since then.
Upon the withdrawal of Okeke’s suretyship, on Thursday, Justice Idris gave Amosu seven days to find a replacement, failing which his bail would be revoked.
The matter, which was slated for continuation of trial on yesterday, was, however, adjourned till November 7 and 8, due to the absence of the lead prosecuting counsel, Mr. Rotimi Oyedepo, who was said to have gone for a matter at the Court of Appeal.
Recall that standing trial alongside Amosu are a former Chief of Accounts and Budgeting at the Nigerian Air Force, Air Vice Marshal Jacob Adigun, and a former Director of Finance and Budget, Air Commodore Olugbenga Gbadebo.
Others defendants were companies: Delfina Oil and Gas Ltd., McAllan Oil And Gas Ltd, Hebron Housing and Properties Company Ltd., Trapezites BDC, Fonds and Pricey Ltd., Deegee Oil and Gas Ltd., Timsegg Investment Ltd., and Solomon Health Care Ltd.
The EFCC alleged that the trio diverted N22.8bn, belonging to the NAF, using the companies.
They were arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC ) on June 29, 2016, and Amosu was granted a N500m bail with two sureties in like sum by the court.