Buhari’s aide arraigned for $1 million dollar cash scam

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A member of a committee set up by President Buhari to investigate corrupt practices relating to arms procurement has been arraigned before a Federal High Court in Abuja.

Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Mohammed Umar, 54, was arraigned on Friday on a four-count amended charge.

Umar is being charged with money laundering, illegal possession of firearms and violation of the Official Secret Act.

Umar’s re-arraignment was informed by the transfer of his case to another judge.

Umar accepted $1,030,000 in cash from a firm, Worldwide Consortium PTY Ltd, “Without going through a financial institution as required by law.

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He has by so doing, committed money laundering, contrary to sections 18 (a) and 16(1)(d) of the Money Laundering Act 2011 and punishable under Section 16(2)(b) of the Act.

Umar is also accused of being in illegal possession of two pump action guns (marked: SBSG Magnum 397 and SBGS Interpress 09-1573) without valid licenses.

He thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 4 of the Firearms Act 2004 and punishable under Section 27(1)(b)(i) of the act.

He is also accused of having at his No: 4 Lungi Close, Mississippi, Maitama, Abuja home “classified documents without lawful authority.

Umar pleaded not guilty to the charges when it was read to him.

His lawyer, Hassan Liman (SAN), urged the court to grant Umar bail on the terms and conditions attached to the bail earlier granted him by Justice Dimgba.

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Liman told the court that his client had been held incommunicado by men of the Department of State Services (DSS) since June 19 when he was arrested.

He accused the DSS of refusing to obey Justice Dimgba, directing that Umar be remanded in prison pending when he was able to meet the bail conditions.

Justice Tsoho ordered that Umar be remanded in Kuje prison in Abuja pending the perfection of his the bail.