The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Friday, November 11, 2016 arraigned Air Vice Marshall Tony Omenyi (rtd) alongside his company, Huzee Nigerian Company, before Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court sitting in Maitama, Abuja 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).
Omenyi is being charged for his alleged role in the diversion of funds meant for the purchase of arms by the military.
The accused pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against him.
Upon his plea, counsel to EFCC, M. S. Abubakar, expressed his readiness, subject to the convenience of the court, to commenced trial immediately.
“My Lord, in view of the plea of the defendant and in the light of the provisions of Section 273, 300 (2) of the ACJA, I humbly apply to proceed immediately for trial”, Abubakar said.
Omenyi’s counsel, Wahab Olatunji, urged the court to dismiss the immediate commencement of trial claiming that, they had not been furnished with the statements of both the accused and the witnesses as recommended by the ‘Practice Direction Act, 2013’.
Olatunji’s motion was however overruled by the judge, who held that all the documents required by the ‘Practice Direction’ had already been furnished in three volumes in the charge filed and dated October 11, 2016 by the prosecution.
Olatunji further urged the court to admit his client to bail adding that the law presumed the accused innocent until otherwise proven guilty.
In response, Abubakar kicked, urging the court to refuse the application by the defence.
“My Lord, the punishment should not only be considered, the impact of the crime on the society should be considered too bearing in mind the fact that this case borders on the alleged diversion of funds for the purchase of arms by some members of the military. I urge the court to grant bail judiciously”, he submitted.
Justice Dimgba, after listening to the submissions of both counsels adjourned to November 14, 2016 for the hearing of the bail application and ordered the accused to be remanded in Kuje prison.