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Nigeria’s ex-air force chief charged with money laundering

Nigeria's anti-graft agency on Wednesday charged a former air force chief and two other high-ranking military officers with laundering millions of dollars in state funds.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said Air Marshal Adesola Amosun Nunayon, Air Vice Marshal Jacob Bola Adigun and Air Commodore Gbadebo Owodunni Olugbenga together faced 26 counts of embezzlement.

The officers who served under the regime of former president Goodluck Jonathan are accused of moving the stolen air force funds using fake companies.

“The defendants, among other things, were accused of laundering 21 billion naira ($74 million, 67 million euros) from the Nigerian Air Force sometime in March 2014 in Lagos, and were using the companies to conceal the source,” the EFCC said in a statement.

The agency said some of the money was used to acquire properties in London.

The accused pleaded not guilty to the charges. They were each granted a 500-million-naira bail by the Lagos court and told to hand over their passports.

Their trial will begin on July 8.

President Muhammadu Buhari, who defeated Jonathan in the 2015 vote, has launched a wide-ranging campaign against corruption targeting key members of the previous government.

Those already on trial include former national security advisor Sambo Dasuki, former ruling party spokesman Olisa Metuh, ex-ministers, top politicians and media owners.

joa/mfp

© 1994-2016 Agence France-Presse

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