Arms Deal: EFCC Arrests Wife Of Ex-Airforce Chief… Recovers $1m In ‘Soakaway’ – Report
Lara Amosu, the wife of the immediate past Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Adesola Amosu (rtd), has been arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over the arms procurement scandal, New Telepgraph is reporting.
According to the paper, Lara Amosu was picked up by the EFCC operatives last week in Abuja.
She has been in the custody of the EFCC in Lagos for the past one week. It was learnt that her lawyer has been battling without success to get her released. Mrs. Amosu’s arrest followed the alleged discovery of about N3 billion in her bank accounts. She was allegedly holding the money in trust for her husband.
The report says that other properties traced to the former CAS were also being held by his wife and children.
This revelation is sequel to an earlier report which states that the EFCC discovered N17.5 billion in the accounts of wives of three airforce chiefs. The monies were scattered in various banks accounts.
Referring to a source familiar with the investigation, the paper said N13 billion was traced to the bank accounts of a wife of a retired Air Vice Marshal, who held strategic position in the Nigeria Air Force (NAF). In the bank accounts of another wife of a serving senior officer, N1.5 billion was found.
Amosu was arrested two weeks ago by the EFCC over his involvement in the arms scandal. “Shortly after Amosu was picked up in Abuja, his wife, Lara, was subsequently arrested.
Investigations conducted showed that some of the monies the former Chief of Air Staff made through some contracts and procurements in NAF were traced to his wife’s accounts.
“About N3 billion was traced to the wife’s accounts while some assets acquired by the former service chief was in her name and some others in her company’s name. “So, Lara is an accessory to a crime. The proceeds with her are from the arms funds. As we prosecute her husband, she must also be held accountable,” a source told New Telegraph.
It was further learnt that the wife of Air Vice Marshal J.B. Adigun, Chief of Account and Budget of NAF, has travelled out of the country two weeks ago, shortly after the arrest of her husband. The hurried trip was said to have become necessary in the face of the arms probe. Adigun has been indicted by the presidential arms panel. He is in the EFCC custody. Several of his properties in Lagos and Abuja have been seized by the antigraft agency. Billions of naira was said to have been traced to Adigun’s wife’s accounts.
It was also learnt that the EFCC retrieved $1 million cash in Amosu’s residence in his residence in Badagary, Lagos. The money, in foreign currency, was retrieved when EFCC operatives carried out a search on Amosu’s residence in Badagry.
According to the source: “In continuation of the investigation into the arms probe, the EFCC operatives took Amosu to his residence in Badagry. After a thorough search of the residence, a fresh small ‘soakaway’ pit was discovered in the compound. The operatives suspected foul play, which informed the breaking of the ‘soakaway’. Surprisingly, $1 million was found in it. The money was subsequently confiscated.”
The paper said it also learnt that Air Commodore Akinwale (rtd) who manages the St. Solomon Health Care Limited, an ultra-modern diagnostic centre owned by Amosu, along Adeniyi Jones Avenue in Ikeja, Lagos is still in the custody of the EFCC. The retired airforce officer oversees the medical centre on behalf of Amosu.
The diagnostic centre has been sealed off by the anti-graft agency. Meanwhile, the EFCC is still keeping Amosu, Adigun, and Air Commodore O. Gbadebo in Lagos. A source said that the anti-graft agency has been taking the indicted officers to assets traced to them, considered to have been acquired through funds illegally realised from the arms procurement. Some of the identified properties have been sealed off.
Amosu, Adigun and Gbadebo were arrested two weeks ago in Abuja. Impeccable sources told New Telegraph that the trio were flown into Lagos in an airforce aircraft on a Sunday and discreetly kept in a hotel.