SAN FRANCISCO, January 25, (THEWILL) – The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Wednesday, re-arraigned a former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Mohammed Dikko Umar, before Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court sitting in Maitama, Abuja on a 7-count charge of money laundering and procurement fraud to the tune of N9.7billion.
The anti-graft body alleged that Umar, during his tenure as Chief of Air Staff between September 2010 and October 2012, allegedly used N700million that was withdrawn from NAF account to purchase a property at No 14 Vistula Close, Off Panama Street, Maitama, Abuja.
He was said to have used the Dollar equivalent of N500million, withdrawn from NAF account, to also purchase a four bedroom duplex with boys’ quarters at Road 3B Street 2, Mabushi Ministers Hill, Abuja.
He also allegedly used the US Dollar equivalent of N250million to purchase a property situated at No 14, Audu Bako Way, G.R.A. Kano, in 2011 in contravention of Section 15(2) (b) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011, as amended.
One of the charges reads:
“That you, Air Marshal Mohammed Dikko Umar, whilst being the Chief of Air Staff, Nigerian Air Force between September 2010 to September 2012 in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of the court directly converted the United States Dollars equivalent of the aggregate sum of N4, 846,630,000.00 (Four billion, eight hundred and forty six million, six hundred and thirty thousand naira) only removed from the accounts of the Nigerian Air Force, when you reasonably ought to have known that the said funds formed part of the proceeds of your unlawful activity, to wit, criminal breach of trust and corruption, and you thereby committed an offence contrary Section 15(2)(b) of the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act”.
Umar, who was first docked on May 11, 2016, again pleaded not guilty.
Upon his plea, Umar’s counsel, Hassan Liman (SAN), applied for his release on bail urging the court to allow his client to go home on self-recognition as he was previously allowed to do by Justice Binta Nyako who was in charge of the case.
Justice Dimgba ordered that the defendant should continue with the earlier bail condition and produce two sureties of either civil servant or business men with a landed property at any satellite area in Abuja.
The defendant is also to surrender his international passports to the court but failure to meet up with the bail terms within a week will result to the defendant being remanded in prison custody.
The case has been adjourned to February 13 and 14, 2016 for commencement of trial.