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Umar arraigned, pleads not guilty to seven-count charge

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Former Chief of Air Staff, Mohammed Dikko Umar

Former Chief of Air Staff, Mohammed Dikko Umar

Former Chief of Air Staff, Mohammed Dikko Umar, was yesterday arraigned before the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on a seven-count charge by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Consequently, the charges were read out to him and he pleaded not guilty to all of them. The charges include:

“That you Umar, while being the Chief of Air Staff, Nigeria Air Force, between September 2010 to September 2012 in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this court, directly converted the United States dollar equivalent of the aggregate sum of N4, 846,630,000.00, removed from the account of the Nigerian Air Force, when you reasonably ought to have known that the said funds formed part of the proceeds of your unlawful activities (to wit: criminal breach of trust and corruption) and you thereby committed an offense contrary to Section 15 (2) (b) of the money laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.

“That you Umar, while being the Chief of Air Staff, NAF between November and December 2010 in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this court, did use the dollar equivalent of the sum of N700 million removed from the account of NAF to purchase for yourself, a property at no. 14 Vistula Close, Off Panama Close, Maitama, Abuja, when you ought to have known that the fund formed part of the proceeds of unlawful activity of Air Marshal Umar, amounting to criminal breach of trust and corruption and thereby committed an offense contrary to Section 15 (2) (b) of the money laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.

“That you Umar, between March and April 2012, in Abuja within the jurisdiction of the court used the dollar equivalent of N860 million removed from the account of NAF to purchase for yourself, a property at Plot 1853, Deng Xiao Ping Street, Off Mahathir Mohammed Stree, Asokoro Extension Abuja when you ought to have known that the fund formed part of the proceeds of unlawful activity of Air Marshal Umar, amounting to criminal breach of trust and corruption and thereby committed an offense contrary to Section 15 (2) (b) of the money laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.”

Count four reads that: “You Umar, while being the Chief of Air Staff between September and December 2012, within the jurisdiction of the court, used the dollar equivalent of N500 million to purchase a residential property comprising a four bedroom duplex with boys quarters at Road 3 B, Street 2, Mabushi Ministers Hill, Abuja when you reasonably ought to have known that the fund formed part of the proceeds of unlawful activity of Air Marshal Umar, amounting to criminal breach of trust and corruption and thereby committed an offense contrary to Section 15 (2) (b) of the money laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.

“That you Umar, in 2011 in Abuja used dollar equivalent of N250 million to purchase for yourself, a property at No 14 Audu Bako Way, GRA Kano, when you reasonably ought to have known that the fund formed part of the proceeds of unlawful activity of Air Marshal Umar, amounting to criminal breach of trust and corruption and thereby committed an offense contrary to Section 15 (2) (b) of the money laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.

“That you Umar, took the sum of N160 million to purchase and renovate for yourself, a property at Kabala Road, Unguwan Rimi, GRA, Kaduna, three bedroom duplex and three rooms boys quarters when you reasonably ought to have known that the fund formed part of the proceeds of unlawful activity of Air Marshal Umar, amounting to criminal breach of trust and corruption and thereby committed an offense contrary to Section 15 (2) (b) of the money laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.

And “That Umar on or about March 2012 in Abuja, transferred the sum of N66 million into the Stanbic IBTC account belonging to Capital Law Office from NAF operations account domiciled at UBA Plc. for renovation and improvement of house No. 1853, Deng Xiao Ping Street, Off Mahathir Mohammed Street, Asokoro Extension, Abuja, when you reasonably ought to have known that the fund formed part of the proceeds of unlawful activity of Air Marshal Umar, amounting to criminal breach of trust and corruption and thereby committed an offense contrary to Section 15 (2) (b) of the money laundering (Prohibition) Act 2011 as amended and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.

Afterwards, Counsel to Umar, Hassan Liman (SAN) asked the court to grant his client bail, stressing that he has earlier filed his bail application on May 9.

Noting that a 23-paragraph affidavit and three exhibits supported the application, Liman urged the court to admit his client’s application on the ground that he has never jumped bail.

In her ruling, Justice Binta Murtala Nyako, said she has no reason whatsoever to deny the applicant administrative bail, especially as he has no past record of jumping bail.

She therefore, admitted him on administrative bail on self-recognition. She however, asked the applicant to submit his International Passport to the Chief Registrar of the court.

She also warned that the applicant should not travel out of his jurisdiction without the permission of the court.

At this point, the prosecution counsel, Sylvanus Tahir, asked the court for an adjournment to enable him prepare his witnesses.

The court subsequently adjourned the case till June 7, 8 and 9 for the trial to begin.


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