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How Dikko, ex-Air Force chief cornered one quarter of NAF wage bill monthly



How Dikko, ex-Air Force chief cornered one quarter of NAF wage bill monthly

The Federal High Court sitting in Maitama, Abuja, on Monday heard how Umar Dikko, a former Chief of Air Staff allegedly spent about a quarter of the wage bill of the service on his personal welfare and upkeep.

A prosecution witness made the revelation in the court presided over by Justice Nnamdi Dimgba in the continued trial of Dikko, who is facing N9.7 billion fraud charges.

At the resumption of the trial, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) presented its first witness, S. A. Yushau, who gave a detailed account of how the defendant used NAF funds to acquire properties in Abuja and other places.

Yushau, a commodore, who was led in evidence by counsel to the EFCC, Sylvanus Tahir, explained that he was selected as the director of finance and account (DFA), by the defendant, who put him in charge of all the financial responsibilities of the force.

He said, “I receive all money of the Nigerian Air Force and disburse it as authorised by the defendant. The Nigerian Air Force received its funds to the tune of N4 billion monthly.

“Of the N4 billion received monthly, the actual figure used in paying staff salary was between N2.3billion to N2.4billion. Out of the remaining N1.6 billion, N558, 200.000.00 was usually set aside for upkeep of the defendant, while N120 million was for the office of the DFA.

Explaining further, the PW1 said that the sum of N558, 200.000.00 which was compulsorily mapped out for the upkeep of the Chief of Air Staff office, was usually converted to dollar equivalent and sent to the defendant in his personal house.

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Yushau, the PW1, then began to narrate how Dikko purchased a property with underground hall in Asokoro at N860 million and renovated it at the cost of N66 million in early 2012, adding that in 2011, he also acquired a property in Kano and another property in Kaduna.

He said that Dikko had a property at Mabushi, which cost N500 million.

He further revealed, that “Dikko purchased a five-bedroom duplex with a swimming pool, a guest chalet at N700 million in Maitama, Abuja for his retirement

“The Kaduna property was purchased at the cost of N80 million and a sum of N75 million or N80 million was used to renovate it.”

The case was later adjourned to February 16, 2017 for further hearing.

Dikko, who was arraigned on January 25 by the anti-graft agency on a seven-count charge of money laundering and procurement fraud to the tune of N9.7 billion, was an air marshal and served as the Chief of Air Staff, NAF between September 2010 and 2012.

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