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The trial of former Chief of Air Staff (CoAS), Air Vice Marshal Mohammed Dikko, before Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court, Maitama, Abuja resumed yesterday, with the examination of the prosecution’s ninth witness. Dikko is on trial for money laundering and procurement fraud to the tune of N9.7 billion.
An investigator with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Hammadama Bello, led in evidence by prosecution counsel, Sylvanus Tahir, gave insight into the activities of the team that investigated the former AVM.Regarding the fourth charge preferred against Dikko by the EFCC, Bello noted that a case of alleged money laundering was established against the defendant following the results of investigation into properties linked to him.
Bello stated that although Dikko had told the EFCC that he purchased the Kano GRA property through the then NAF Director of Finance and Accounts, Air Cdr. Salisu Yushau, for N130 million (paying in tranches of N90 million and N40 million from his personal savings), investigation revealed that the property was actually bought for N250 million from a relocating Nigerien, with payment made directly from the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Camp Finance account.
This revelation, Bello said, was confirmed by Yushau (PW1).He further stated that investigations had revealed that the former CoAS came from a humble background, rising from the position of a teacher to a library assistant before becoming a serving officer.
“He (Dikko) was not a business man while in service and, by consequence, would have had to be Chief of Air Staff at his last grade level for 250 years to afford the properties linked to him.“Investigation revealed that during his tenure, he received N558.2 million on a monthly basis, which he converted into dollars. Yushau was also offered N120 million on a monthly basis, but he refused, stating that his conscience could not allow him take the money,” Bello stated.After the prosecution concluded its examination of the witness, Justice Dimgba adjourned the matter till May 27 and 28, 2019 for continuation of hearing.