Alleged N4.8bn Fraud: Umar Seeks Out-of-Court Settlement

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By Alex Enumah in Abuja

A former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Mohammed Dikko Umar, standing trial on allegation of corruption to the tune of N4.8bn has told a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja that plans are on to get the matter settled out of court.
At the resumed hearing of his case on Tuesday, Umar informed the trial judge, Justice Binta Nyako through his lawyer, Hassan Liman, that he has made substantive efforts to get the matter settled out of court.
Liman particularly disclosed that his client had a meeting with officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission where discussions were held on the subject matter.
He disclosed that the first meeting involving the head of legal department of the commission, the prosecution counsel and Umar was held on May 31 while another meeting was held on June 3.
Present at both meetings was a member of the EFCC task force Ibrahim Musa and the prosecution counsel, Sylvanus Tahir .
The defence counsel further disclosed that it was resolved that the defendant should send a formal communication to the commission, which he claimed has been done, adding that the letter which was addressed to the EFCC Chairman, Ibrahim Magu, was dispatched on the 6th of June, 2016.
However, Prosecution Counsel, Sylvanus Tahir, who claimed he was aware that the defendant had written a letter to the chairman of the commission seeking to engage the Federal Government in a discussion over the charge, told the court they are prepared for the day’s business.
Tahir insisted that the out of court settlement was not a ground to stop trial since it was not a civil matter and urged the court to order for commencement of trial.
Responding, counsel to the defendant said that it would be prejudicial to commence trial in view of the ongoing attempt to settle the matter out of court.
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