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Military court sentences NAF officer to 21 years imprisonment for N41m fraud

A General Court Martial on Thursday sentenced a Nigeria Air Force personnel, Master Warrant Officer Michael Oyebanji, to 21 years in jail for criminal breach of trust, theft, criminal conspiracy, and misappropriation of N41 million.

The Director of Public Relations and Information, NAF, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, who disclosed in a statement on Saturday, said Oyebanji was convicted on 46-count charge of fraud.

The NAF personnel, who was the Vice President of the 151 Base Services Group Multipurpose Cooperative Society in Makurdi, was found guilty of conniving with three others to steal the money belonging to the cooperative.

The other convicted persons were – Flt. Lt. Sherifi Olawoore, Flying Officer Ademola Adekoya, and Warrant Officer Paul Atteh.

The trio were also sentenced to 21 years imprisonment.

The President of the GCM, Air Commodore Nazib Aliyu, ordered that Oyebanji be demoted to the rank of corporal.

He was also directed to refund the money to the cooperative society.

The GCM convicted Olawoore for negligence in the performance of his duty as the president of the cooperative and awarded six months’ loss of seniority.

Adekoya, who was also found guilty of negligence as the cooperative secretary, was awarded one year loss of seniority.

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Atteh, the cooperative treasurer, was convicted for negligence, documents falsification and criminal breach of trust.

He was awarded a reduction in rank from warrant officer to sergeant, in the first instance, and then eventually reduced to the rank of corporal.

He was also ordered to pay N1 million fine.

However, the sentences are subject to confirmation by the appropriate superior authority.

The statement read: “MWO Michael Oyebanji, who was the Vice President of the Cooperative, was tried on 46- count charge including; criminal breach of trust, theft, criminal conspiracy, criminal misappropriation, making of false documents and conduct to the prejudice of service discipline, contrary to sections 114 and 103 (d) of the Armed Forces Act Cap A20 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and Sections 312, 287, 96 and 309 of the Penal Code Cap P3 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.”

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