N9.7bn NAF Fraud: Finance Director indicts ex-Chief of Air Staff

Posted by News Express | 21 October 2017 | 2,114 times

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•The accused Ex-Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Umar Dikko, on the way to court on Friday

The trial of a former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Umar Dikko, continued on Thursday, October 19, 2017 before Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court sitting in Maitama, Abuja with the cross-examination of the first witness, Commodore S. A. Yusahau (rtd), by the defence.

Dikko, who served as the Chief of Air Staff, Nigerian Air Force between September 2010 and 2012, is facing a 7-count charge of money laundering and procurement fraud to the tune of N9.7billion preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

Yushau, whose evidence started on February 13, 2017, had earlier testified to the effect that he was appointed as the director of finance and accounting, DFA, by the defendant (Dikko), a position that put him in charge of all the financial roles.

In his testimony, Yushau stated that he receive monies of the Nigerian Air force and disbursed same as authorised by Dikko. He added that the Nigerian Air Force received its funds to the tune of N4billion monthly.

Yushau, while being cross-examined by Dikko’s counsel, Hassan Liman, SAN, further insisted that he acted solely on the instructions from his boss (Dikko) with respect to the release of funds.

“I acted solely on instructions from my boss and all records of monies spent under his watch can be found in the Nigeria Air Force”, he said.

When asked to state the exact amount spent on fuelling and maintenance of the aircraft as well as the comprehensive schools purportedly built in Kano and Yola, Yushau stated that “I don’t have the record of what was spent on the maintenance of the aircrafts as well as the conference centre and the comprehensive schools”.

According to him, “the schools were built during Badeh’s regime, while the conference centre which started during Dikko’s regime was completed during Badeh’s tenure.

On whether the NAF Accounts were audited yearly and whether auditors had ever raised alarm on the way monies were spent and managed in the NAF, Yushau narrated how some issues were raised by auditors during the audit time.

“Issues were raised and addressed”, he said.

According to the witness, all the units were audited separately. He added that it was as a result of the different queries raised by the auditors that the NAF officials had to visit the National Assembly.

At this point, Justice Dimgba adjourned to December 6 – 7, 2017 for continuation of trial.

Source: News Express

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