$15b Arms Deal: EFCC To Arraign Ex-Chief Of Air Staff Today

EFCC-boys1-638x300The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) will today, Wednesday, arraign a former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Umar Dikko (retd.) before Justice Binta Murtala Nyako of the Federal High Court, Abuja, in connection with $15 billion arms deals.
Besides accounting for arms and equipment procured during his tenure, the former Air Chief may also stand trial for allegedly benefitting from N558.2 million monthly from funds meant for salaries of Nigerian Air Force (NAF) officials.
A former Director of Finance and Accounts at NAF, Air Commodore Salisu Abdullahi Yushau (retd), told a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, that all past Air Chiefs of Staff, diverted N558.2 million monthly.
However, a media aide to Mr. Umar said the former Air Chief had records of how he spent N558.2 million monthly on laudable projects, welcoming the expected trial as an avenue for Nigerians to know “his (Umar’s) sacrifice to the Nigerian Air Force”.
The EFCC, in a statement by its spokesperson, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren yesterday, said “a former Chief of Air Staff M D Umar Dikko is to be arraigned by the EFCC on Wednesday, May 11, 2016, before Justice Binta Murtala Nyako of the Federal High Court, Abuja”.
Although the anti-graft agency was silent on the charges against Umar, a top source said “the allegations against Umar have to do with procurement of arms, aircraft, and maintenance of Alpha-Jets. They are in connection with some areas in the report of the Special Presidential Committee on arms procurement, headed by AVM JON Ode.
“Umar will also be answerable for what he did with the excess of N558.2 million from the monthly salaries of NAF officers and men”.
But a media aide to the ex-Chief of Air Staff said the money in question was not missing as there were records of what was done with them.
In a statement in Abuja, the aide said: “This (N558.2 million) was what Air Marshal Umar used to execute the laudable projects for which he is known in the Nigerian Air Force.
“They were used to reactivate and maintain aircraft for which no funds were released from the normal budgets. They were used for training programmes, including pilot training, which reached a height under his watch.
“Remember that it was in the process that the Nigerian Air Force got the first female combat pilot. Part of the fund was used for payment of estacode allowances of officers, who were on training; renovation and building of offices and residential accommodation for officers and men.
“There are records of these and they are not hidden. Nigerians will, through this, see the real Air Marshal Umar and his sacrifice to the Nigerian Air Force”.


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