How Air Force Chief, Omenyi, Received N136m Bribe from NAF Contractors – Witness
A Federal High Court Abuja presided over by Justice Nnamdi Dimgba, was on Monday January 23 told how a former Managing Director of Aeronautical Engineering and Technical Services Limited (AETSL), a company owned by the Nigeria Air Force, Air Vice Marshal Tony Omenyi received over one hundred and thirty six million Naira kick back from Syrius Technologies and Sky Experts Limited – two contractors of the Nigeria Air Force.
Omenyi is standing trial before the court on a 3-count charge bordering on abuse of office and money laundering to the tune of N136.325.000.00 (one hundred and thirty six million, three hundred and twenty five thousand naira). He pleaded not guilty to the charge.
At the resumed trial on Monday, the EFCC called its first witness (PW1) Hassan Saidu, an EFCC Principal Detective, who was led in evidence by the prosecuting counsel, M.S. Abubakar.
Saidu informed the court that the investigation of the defendants by the EFCC was triggered by a letter from the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) dated 9th December, 2015 alleging that the defendant was operating suspicious accounts. When the prosecutor sought to tender the letter in Evidence, the defendant’s counsel Gordy Uche, SAN objected on the grounds that the letter was supposed to have been certified by the ONSA and not by EFCC.
Abubakar countered the argument by citing Section 104(I) of the Evidence Act, 2011 which states that it is the public officer in custody of a document that should certify it. Thus, in the case at hand the EFCC was the proper agency to certify the document. The court agreed with the argument of the prosecution and admitted the document in evidence.
Continuing with his evidence, Saidu stated that “in January, 2014 the contractors were paid the sum of over N202 million and they in turn paid the sum of N24.8 million to the defendant’s company. While in April, 2014 the contractors were paid the sum of about N690 million and transferred the sum of N61.5 million out of it to the defendant’s company, HUZEE Nigeria Limited. Finally on 18th November, 2014 the contractor paid the sum of N50 Million to Air Vice Marshal Omenyi’s company after receiving about N556 million from the Nigerian Air Force”.
The case has been adjourned to 16 February, 2017 for continuation of trial.