In line with its relentless efforts to bringing corrupt public officers to book, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on June 23, 2016, arraigned Air Vice Marshal Rufus. A. Ojuawu, a former Director of Operations, Nigerian Air Force, NAF, before Justice M. B. Idris of the Federal Capital Territory( FCT) High Court sitting in Apo, Abuja on a two-count charge bordering on bribery to the tune of N40, 000,000.00( Forty Million Naira).
Ojuawo, while being the Director of Operations, Nigerian Air Force, NAF, had, in March, 2015, allegedly collected the sum of N40, 000,000.00(Forty Million Naira Only) and a Range Rover Sport Utility Vehicle as gratification from one Hima Abubakar of Societe D’Equipment Internationaux Nigeria Limited, a contractor with the NAF.
The offence contravenes Section 17(a)of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act 2000 and is punishable under Section17(c)of the same Act.
Count one reads: ‘‘That you, AVM Rufus Adeniyi Ojuawo whilst serving as Director of Operations , Nigerian Air Force , in March 2015, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court did accept a gift in the aggregate sum of N40, 000,000( Forty Million Naira) from one Mr. Hima Abubakar of Societe D’Equipment Internationaux Nigeria Limited, a contractor with the Nigerian Air Force in performance of your official act and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 17(a)of the Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Act,2000 and punishable under Section17(c)of the same Act.’’
The accused person pleaded not guilty to the charges when they were read to him.
In view of his plea, the prosecution counsel, Francis A. Jigbo, asked the court for a trial date.
Responding, the defence counsel, R.A Ojabo, urged the court to grant the accused person bail on self- recognizance.
However, the prosecution counsel kicked, saying, ‘‘We are opposed to the bail application of the defendant . Though the decision to or not to grant bail is at the discretion of My Lord, the bail application is self-defeating because it is only full of statements of defence.”
However, in his ruling, Justice Idris granted the accused person bail in the sum of N10m (Ten Million Naira) with one surety in like sum. The surety must not be below the rank of an assistant director and must be resident within the jurisdiction of the court.
The case has been adjourned to September15, 2016 for commencement of trial.
Media & Publicity
23rd June, 2016