The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, yesterday, presented its sixth witness, Air Commodore Mohammed Lawal Sini, in the trial of Air chief Marshal Alex Badeh (rtd) to shed more light on how the sum of N558 million Nigerian Air Force funds was converted to personal use while Badeh held sway as Chief of Air Staff.
Badeh is being prosecuted alongside Iyalikam Nigeria Limited before Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court sitting in Maitama, Abuja, for allegedly abusing his office as Chief of Defence Staff, CDS, by using the dollar equivalent of the sum of N1.4billion removed from the accounts of the Nigerian Air Force to purchase properties in choice areas of Abuja between January and December, 2013.
The offence is in contravention of Section 15 (2) (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended) and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.
Led in evidence by counsel to EFCC, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, Sini, who is currently a director in the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), gave details of events that occurred when he was the Camp Finance Officer, CFO, 106 Camp, in 2012.
“In 2012, I was posted to Camp NAF as the Camp Finance Officer (CFO). My schedule involved payment of salaries, disbursement of funds with respect to operations and overhead expenditure of the unit.
“106 Camp was established to provide administrative services to NAF HQ complex, the Air House (residence of the Chief of the Air Staff) and other Air Force units within Abuja.
“I reported to the Director of Finance and Accounts (DFA), then Air Commodore S. A. Yushau, (PW1), within the Headquarters. I took instructions from him with respect to financial operations within the Unit. Squadron Leader E. N. Abu was the cashier, my subordinate.
“106 Camp receives funds from NAF procurement. These funds typically were for personnel emolument or for recurrent overhead expenditure.
“I took over the post of CFO from Group Captain Ifeobu. On the very first day I reported for duty as CFO, he told me that a certain part of the RCA taken from personnel emolument, specifically N558,200,000, was meant for the official administrative maintenance of the office of
the Chief of Air Staff and that I was to report to the DFA for details of disbursement”, Sini stated.
The matter was adjourned to today for continuation of trial.