The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested the wife of the immediate past Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Adesola Amosu (rtd) in relation to the ongoing investigation into the $2.1 billion arms procurement fund.
EFCC arrests Mrs Lara Amosu after N3 billion was traced to her bank accounts.
Today.ng reports that Mrs. Lara Amosu was arrested last week in Abuja by EFCC operatives, adding that she has been in the anti-graft custody in Lagos since last week.
A source disclosed that Lara’s lawyer has been making attempts to secure her release but had not gotten any positive result.
She was arrested after the sum of N3 billion was traced to her bank accounts. The money is believed to be part of the sum her husband is being probed for.
The source further hinted that some properties belonging to the former CAS were also held in trust for him by Lara and her children.
There were earlier reports that the anti-graft watch dog discovered a whooping sum of N17.5 billion in the accounts of wives of three airforce chiefs. The monies were reportedly disseminated in various banks accounts.
A source acquainted with the ongoing arms probe disclosed that N13 billion was traced to the bank accounts of the wife of a retired Air Vice Marshal, who held strategic position in the Nigeria Air Force (NAF), adding that N1.5 billion was discovered in the account of another serving senior officer. These officers handled the finance, budget and accounts of NAF.
The source said: “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.”
It was gathered that the anti-graft agency pulled out the sum of $1 million cash from Amosu’s residence in Badagary, Lagos. The foreign currency was discovered when operatives carried out a search on the house.
The source said: “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 EFCC arrested Amosu, Adigun, and Air Commodore O. Gbadebo two weeks ago over their involvement in the $2.1 billion arms scandal.
It was gathered that the EFCC flew the indicted officers were to Lagos in an airforce aircraft. They were allegedly discreetly kept in a hotel. The EFCC mobilized the indicted officers to assets traced to them and suspected to have been acquired with monies gotten from the arms deal. The anti-graft agency had sealed off some of the said properties.
The Federal Government on November 30, 2015 directed the EFCC to prosecute the ex-CAS, who is also being investigated over 10 NAF contracts totaling $930,500,690 awarded to Societe D’ Equipments Internationaux (SEI) Nig Ltd. between January 2014 and February 2015.
The probe panel disclosed that the contacts award letters show misleading delivery dates, suggesting fraudulent intent in the award process.
However, the EFCC had asked Amosu and others, who are still being detained over the $2.1bn arms deal, to refund some money or contract sums traced to them, but they have remained adamant.