Monthly diversion of Nigerian Air Force’s N558.2m started before Ex-Defence Chief, Badeh’s tenure
The former Director of Finance and Accounts at the Nigerian Air Force, NAF, Air Commodore Salisu Abdullahi Yushau, retd, on Thursday, revealed before the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, that all past Air Chief Marshals, monthly diverted N558.2million from funds meant for the payment of salaries of Nigerian Air Force officials. Yushau made the disclosure at the continued trial of the immediate past Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, who was alleged to have siphoned over N3.9billion from account of the Force within 2013. Badeh is answering to a 10-count criminal charge the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, preferred against him. The ex-NAF Finance Director who started his Evidence-In-Chief on March 16, told the court that no one dared to query all the former Air Chief on how they expended the diverted funds “The practice of setting aside the N558.2m was already there even before I was appointed as the Director of Finance in 2010”, the witness added. He told the court that the system was in place when he served under former Air Chief Marshal M.D. Umar from October 2010 to October 2012. Umar is equally under the investigative lens of the EFCC. Yushau said he duly briefed Badeh about how his predecessors handled funds that accrued to the NAF when he assumed office and he decided to continue the practice. The witnesses who was cross-examined by Badeh’s lawyer, Chief Akin Olujumi, SAN, said: “I gave the Chief the complete brief of the financial position of the Nigerian Air Force when he was appointed. From then he took control of the expenditure of the balance of N558.2m which we monthly deducted from the salary account”. He told the court that Badeh diverted the funds for his personal use.
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