By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA—THE Abuja Division of the Federal High Court yesterday adjourned the money laundering case against former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Mohammed Umar Dikko, till February 27.
Dikko, who piloted the affairs of the Nigerian Air Force, NAF, between September 2010 and October 2012, is facing a seven-count charge that was entered against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
He was accused of complicity in money laundering and procurement fraud, to the tune of about N9.7 billion.
EFCC alleged that the defendant, while in office as the Air Force Chief, withdrew N700 million from the NAF account, and used same to purchase a choice property at a highbrow area within the Maitama District of Abuja.
He was further alleged to have fraudulently withdrawn N500 million from the said NAF account to buy a four-bedroom duplex at Road 3B, Street 2, in Mabushi Ministers Hill, Abuja.
Besides, EFCC, in the charge, alleged that the defendant also took N250m from the NAF’s coffers to buy a property at No. 14, Audu Bako Way, GRA, Kano State in 2011.
Meanwhile, at the resumed proceeding on the matter yesterday, the prosecuting agency which has already opened its case against the defendant, applied for an adjournment owing to the absence of its witness in court.
The prosecution lawyer, Mr. Sylvanus Tahir, informed the Court that the witness EFCC intended to produce to testify against the defendant, was recently bereaved.
“The witness lost his dad and is currently away from Abuja,” Tahir stated.
He therefore applied for a short date to enable the witness to attend the proceeding.
However, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba who is presiding over the trial, drew attention of the prosecution to the fact that he was recently transferred out of Abuja.
The Judge, who was transferred to the Asaba Division of the court, said he would only be able to continue with the case through a fiat from Chief Judge of the High Court.