N9.7 billion fraud: How Nigeria’s ex-Air Force chief acquired property with NAF funds – Witness

Mohammed Umar

The trial of Umar Dikko continued on Monday before Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court sitting in Maitama, Abuja, with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, presenting its first witness, S. A. Yushau, who narrated how the defendant used NAF funds to acquire properties in Abuja.

Mr. Dikko, an air marshal who served as the Chief of Air Staff, Nigerian Air Force, between September 2010 and 2012, was arraigned on January 25 on a seven-count charge of money laundering and procurement fraud to the tune of N9.7 billion.

Nigerian-airforce

Mr. Yushau, a commodore, while being led in evidence by counsel to the EFCC, Sylvanus Tahir, told the court that he was appointed as the director of finance and account, DFA, by the defendant (Dikko), a position that put him in charge of all the financial roles.

“I receive all money of the Nigerian Air Force and disburse it as authorised by the defendant. The Nigerian Air Force received its funds to the tune of N4billion monthly”, he said.

According to the witness, “Of the N4 billion received monthly, the actual figure used in paying staff salary was between N2.3 billion to N2.4 billion. Out of the remaining N1.6 billion, N558,200.000.00 (five hundred and fifty eight million, two hundred thousand naira) was usually set aside for upkeep of the defendant, while N120 million was for the office of the DFA.

The PW1 went further to explain how the sum of N558,200.000.00 that was set aside for the upkeep of the Chief of Air Staff office was always converted to dollar equivalent and taken to Mr. Dikko in his personal house.

“The defendant (Dikko) purchased a five-bedroom duplex with a swimming pool, a guest chalet at N700million in Maitama, Abuja for his retirement,” Mr. Yushau disclosed.

The witness further told the court that the defendant had a property with underground hall in Asokoro purchased at N860 million and renovated at the cost of N66 million in early 2012. He added that, in 2011, the defendant acquired a property in Kano and another property in Kaduna.

“The Kaduna property was purchased at the cost of N80 million and a sum of N75 million or N80 million was used to renovate it”, said the PW1.

Mr. Yushau also disclosed that Mr. Dikko had a property at Mabushi, which cost N500 million.

Further hearing on the matter has been adjourned to February 16, 2017.

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