Federal High Court in Lagos on Tuesday quashed the N21.5bn money laundry charges preferred against a former Chief of Air Staff, Adesola Amosu, and two others by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) first arraigned Mr Amosu, a retired air marshall, alongside two other military officers: Jacob Adigun, and Gbadebo Olugbenga, before Justice Mohammad Idris, on 29 June 29 2016, on a 26-count charge.
But they were re-arraigned before Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke in a 13-count amended charge marked FHC/L/280C/16 on money laundering to the tune of N21.5bn.
The defendants were prosecuted for alleged conspiracy and conversion of the funds belonging to the NAF to their personal use.
In a ruling on Tuesday, Feb. 6, on the application filed by the defendants asking the court to quash the charge brought against them, Justice Aneke granted their prayers, by upholding a preliminary objection challenging the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the case on the grounds that the defendants were serving officers of the military at the time the case was instituted.
Defence counsel had argued that the defendants were, therefore, only subject to trial by a court-martial, since they were still officers during the period.
The judge held, “As officers of the armed forces, they ought to have been first investigated by the armed forces and tried rather than charging them before this court.”
He declared the investigation of Amosu dated January 30, 2015, null and void.
Justice Aneke also quashed the amended charges against the defendants.