Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has adjourned the trial of a former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Mohammed Umar Dikko (retd), till April 28 and 29, 2021.
The defendant is expected to open his defence on one of seven counts of money laundering preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the judge ruled on Tuesday.
Air Marshal Dikko is being prosecuted by the EFCC on a seven-count charge of money laundering and procurement fraud to the tune of N9.7billion.
The EFCC had closed its case on November 28, 2019, but rather than open his defence, Dikko filed a no-case submission through his counsel, Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), claiming that the Commission has not proven the charges brought against him and therefore, should be let off the hook.
Prosecuting counsel, Sylvanus Tahir, had opposed the submission, urging the court to throw out the defendant’s application for lacking in merit.
Ruling on the defendant’s application on Tuesday, Justice Dimgba held that the prosecution failed to link the defendant to the offence in six out of the seven counts of the charge. The judge held that the prosecution acted on suspicion and assumption as it was unable to prove that properties acquired by the defendant could be gotten from the proceeds of estacodes that accrued to him as Chief of Air Staff.
He, therefore, discharged and acquitted the defendant on counts one to six of the charge and adjourned till April 28 and 29 for the defendant to open his defence.