Court Fixes March 17 for Judgment in Ex-Air Chief, Umar’s Corruption Trial

JUSTICE Nmamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on March 2, 2022, reserved judgment in the case of alleged criminal diversion of N66million against a former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Mohammed Dikko Umar (rtd) till March 17, 2022.

Umar 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.

However, six of the counts were dismissed following a no-case submission, leaving one count of alleged diversion of N66million from the Nigeria Air Force’s bank account.

At the resumed trial on March 2, 2022, counsel presented their final arguments with defence counsel, Onyeachi Okpeazu SAN, asking the court to discharge and acquit the defendant on the grounds that the prosecution failed to establish the ingredients of the alleged offence beyond any reasonable doubt.

“My lord, the count was not established in any manner by evidence. This is a criminal matter, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt,” he said.

However, prosecuting counsel, Sylvanus Tahir, urged the court to be guided by the written address filed and adopted on February 22, 2022, to convict and sentence the defendant.

“My lord, a lot of stories has been raised, first whether we have proven money that left Nigerian Air force Account to Capital Law Firm. We did, at paragraph 5.5 in our written address, N47 million and N10 million respectively left the NAF account to the Capital Law Firm, and all are before the court,” he said.

Justice Dimgba consequently fixed March 17 to deliver judgment.