By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA—The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, yesterday, sentenced a former Air Vice Marshal, Tony Omenyi(retd), to 21 years imprisonment, following his complicity in money laundering.
The court found the former Air Force Chief, who was hitherto the Managing Director of the Aeronautical Engineering and Technical Services Ltd, AETSL, guilty on a three-count charge the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, preferred against him. EFCC alleged that the convict was involved in the illegal diversion of funds meant for the purchase of arms by the military.
It alleged that he had among other things, demanded and received the sum of N136 million as a kickback from a contractor engaged by the Nigerian Air Force.
He was said to have committed the fraud in 2014, using the account of a private firm, Huzee Nigeria Limited, which was also cited as a defendant in the matter.
Meanwhile, delivering judgment in the case yesterday, trial Justice Nnamdi Dimgba jailed the defendant for seven years on each of the three counts, stressing, however, that the sentence would run concurrently.
The court ordered the firm through which the kickback was received from the contractor, SkyExperts Nigeria Limited, be closed by the Federal Government.
Besides, the court directed that the sum of N62 million, which was earlier recovered from the convicts by the EFCC, be forfeited to the government.
Justice Dimgba said he was satisfied that the prosecution successfully established a prima facie criminal case against the defendants.