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FG tenders $1m cash ‘recovered’ from ex-Air Force chief

The federal government has tendered before a federal high court in Abuja, $1,030,000 it allegedly recovered from the residence of Mohammed Dikko Umar, former chief of air staff.

Umar was re-arraigned alongside his company, Easy Jet Integrated Services Limited, before Inyang Ekwo, the judge, on a three-count charge bordering on money laundering, illegal possession of firearms and possession of official documents without lawful authority.

At the trial on Thursday, Stephen Olatubosun, an agent of the Department of State Services (DSS), who appeared as the first prosecution witness in the case, identified three bags in which the money allegedly recovered from Umar was stashed.

The three bags labelled A,B and C contained $1,030,517 (USD), ₣2,640,500 (CFP Franc), Bds$120 (Barbados dollar), five Caribbean dollar, TT$72 (Trinidad dollar) and ₦1,300,000.

The court admitted the bags in evidence as exhibit PW1 C1, PW1 C2, PW1 C3.

Inyang Ekwo, the judge, then ordered the chief registrar of the court to “safe keep the money with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) pending further order of this court”.

Under cross-examination by Hassan Liman, counsel to the defendants, the witness admitted that he was not among the team that searched the residence of the defendant.

He also said he was not the officer who took down the statement of the defendant at the time of questioning.

When asked if he knew the business the defendant was into as of the time of his arrest, Olatubosun said: “No”.

He also said he has never investigated the second defendant (Umar’s company) personally.

After cross-examination, Shuaib Labaran, counsel from the office of the attorney-general of the federation, closed his case.

Consequently, the defendants prayed the court for leave to file a no-case-submission.

Ekwo granted the application and fixed April 27 for hearing.

He ordered that all processes be filed and exchanged before the next adjourned date.

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