The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Friday, November 11, 2016 arraigned Air Vice Marshall Tony Omenyi (rtd) alongside his company, Huzee Nigeria Limited, 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 prosecuted for his alleged role in the diversion of funds meant for the purchase of arms by the military.
Count 2 of the charge reads:
“That you, AIR VICE MARSHALL TONY OMENYI (whilst being a public officer) and HUZEE NIGERIA LIMITED between 16th and 23rd August, 2014 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court took possession of the sum of N61,525,000.00 (sixty one million, five hundred and twenty five thousand naira only) transferred to the FCMB account of Huzee Nigeria Limited by SkyExperts Nigeria Limited, a contractor of AETSL, when you reasonably ought to have known that the said funds formed part of the proceeds of unlawful activity ( to wit: corruption) of Air Vice Marshall Tony Omenyi and you thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 15(2)(d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended) and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act”.
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 claim of the prosecution, contending 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 ‘PracticeDirection’ 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 proven guilty.
Justice Dimgba adjourned the case to November 14, 2016 for the hearing of the bail application and ordered the accused to be remanded in Kuje prison.