Former Director of Finance and Account of the Nigerian Air Force, Air Commodore Aliyu Yishau (rtd), on Monday, insisted that former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshall Alex Badeh (rtd) gave him verbal instructions to carry out all his transactions. Yishau also told the court that three of his property are currently under investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
This is even as Justice Ishaq Bello of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court, Abuja, on Monday, adjourned the trial of Chief Olisa Metuh, spokesman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) after complaining of seeing shadows. At the resumed trial on Monday, Yishau told the court under cross examination that even though he was aware of the Financial Regulation for public service which stipulates that all expenses should be documented, he could not request for documentary authorisation because things operate differently in the military. He said: “When a request for expenditure is made through the Chief of Air Staff, it has to be in writing, but if the Chief of Air Staff is making a request for expenditure, he does not put it in writing. “If the Chief of Air Staff asked me to buy a N50 million car for his friend, he does not need to write, and I will not question his request because he is the Chief accounting officer, that is how we operate on the military.
“It has been so throughout the period I worked as Director of Finance and Accounts at NAF”. On whether the account of the NAF was usually audited by the Auditor General of the Federation annually, Yishau told the court that the Chief of Air Staff as the Chief accounting officer does not need to justify his request for funds. “Yashau made the revelations during cross-examination by lead counsel to Badeh, Chief Akin Olujimi (SAN). However, the trial judge, Justice Okon Abang, was forced to adjourn the trial midway after the prosecution counsel requested that the witness be given his statement to go through in order to refresh his memory on the new line of questioning.
The trial was adjourned to today (Tuesday) at the instance of the prosecution to enable them get the certified statement of the witness. On his three property, Yisahu told the court that they were marked by the EFCC are currently under investigation. Following his cross-examination by the defense counsel, Samuel Zibiri, the witness said he bought the property using housing loans. The houses marked for investigation include: one currently being occupied by the witness. The former director who was being cross-examined by Samuel Zibiri, counsel to Mr. Badeh, however said he bought the property with ‘housing loans’.
He listed his property under investigation by the commission as No 8b Danube Street, Wuse 2, Abuja, a car park which he purchased in 2002 and another one at N0 5c Sultan close, Kaduna, and two uncompleted houses in Kaduna – one at Tafawa Balewa Way, the other one at Ibrahim Biu Road. Yushau explained that the proceeds from the sale of his office at Wuye District of Abuja was used to buy the two plots of land that he started developing in Kaduna. He added that at the time he bought the Wuye property in 2010, its value was N45m but that he sold the house for N320m in 2015.