Trial of former Air Chief, Dikko, for alleged N9.7bn fraud, resumes

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The trial of former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Mohammed Dikko Umar resumed on Monday, before Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, with the prosecuting counsel, Sylvanus Tahir cross-examining the defendant.

Tahir asked Dikko to tell the court how long he served the Nigerian Air Force and any other thing he does, apart from working with the Nigerian Air Force.

The defendant told the court that he served thirty-six years with the Nigerian Air Force, and also owns three farms in Kaduna and Abuja.

According to him, the Abuja farm is 17 hectares of land and the other two in Kaduna are four hectares and 200 hectares respectively.

He said he took over as Chief of Air Staff on September 8, 2010, and retired on October 1, 2012.

Justice Dimgba thereafter adjourned the matter till Thursday, September 30, 2021, for the continuation of trial.

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Dikko was first arraigned on January 25, 2017, on a 7-count charge of money laundering and procurement fraud to the tune of N9.7 billion.

But on February 23, 2021, Justice Dimgba, ruling on a No-Case Submission filed by the defendant, discharged and acquitted the former Chief of Air Staff on six out of the seven-count money laundering charges preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The court said it found merit in a No-Case Submission the defendant filed in relation to counts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 of the charge. It, however, “refuse and dismissed the No Case Submission in relation to Count 7.

“I hereby direct the defendant to open his defense in relation to this count” Justice Dimgba held.

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