Eric Ikhilae, Abuja
A member of the Presidential Committee on Procurement of Arms and Equipment in the Armed Forces, Air Commodore Umar Mohammed (Rtd) was re-arraigned on Wednesday before a Federal High Court in Abuja.
Mohammed was re-arraigned with his firm – Easy Jet Integrated Services Limited – before a new judge, Justice Inyang Ekwo, to whom the case has been re-assigned
The two were re-arraigned on an amended five-count charge bordering on money laundering, illegal possession of firearms and possession of official documents without lawful authority.
Mohammed pleaded not guilty to all counts and a not guilty plea was entered for his company.
After their pleas, lawyer to the prosecution, Sanusi Dakat sought a date to commence trial.
Dakat disclosed that he intend to call seven witnesses to prove his case.
Defendant’s lawyer, Y.D. Dangana prayed the court to grant bail to Mohammed on the same conditions attached to the bail earlier granted him, a request Justice Ekwo acceded to in his ruling.
The judge adjourned till October 12 for the commencement of trial.
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Mohammed and his firm had been previously arraigned twice before Justices Nnamdi Dimgba and John Tsoho (both of the Federal High Court, Abuja.
The re-arraignment was informed by the transfer of the case to another judge and the amendment of the earlier charge by the prosecution.
Mohammed and his firm are accused of conspiracy to commit money laundering, money laundering, illegal possession of firearms and unlawful possession of official documents in violation of the Official Secret Act.
The Department of State Service (DSS) arrested Umar in June 2016 for allegedly fronting for other members of the Presidential Arms Panel in receiving large sums of money from certain individuals and companies in order to evade prosecution.