Ex-CAS opts for out of court settlement in N9.7bn fraud case

former Chief of Air Staff, Mohammed Umar, has opted for an out of court settlement in the N9.7 billion fraud case against him.

Umar on Tuesday in court said he was ready to settle out of court in the seven-count charge money laundering case brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

Umar appeared before Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court in Abuja.

Umar was first arraigned on May 11, 2016.

At the arrangement, he pleaded not guilty.

One of the charges reads: “That you, Air Marshall Mohammed Dikko Umar,whilst being the Chief of Air Staff, Nigerian Air Force between September 2010 to September 2012 in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court directly converted the United States Dollar equivalent of the aggregate sum of N4,846,630,000,00(Four Billion, Eight Hundred and Fifty-Six Million, Six Hundred and Thirty Thousand Naira) only removed from the accounts of the Nigerian Airforce, when you reasonably ought to have known that the said funds formed part of the proceeds of your unlawful activity (to wit: criminal breach of trust and corruption) and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 15(2) (b) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act,2011 (as amended) and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.”

In view of his plea, the prosecuting counsel, SylvanuTahir, prayed the court for a trial date and asked that the defendant be remanded in prison custody pending the commencement of his trial.

The defence counsel, Hassan Liman (SAN), told the court that he had filed a bail application and served same on the prosecution.

Consequently, Justice Nyako ordered the defendant to deposit his international passport with the court registrar.

The defendant was also ordered not to leave the jurisdiction of the court while the trial lasts.

The case was then adjourned to July 7 and 9, 2016.

But on Tuesday, Umar agreed to settle out of court.