By Muhammad Gado
Four personnel of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) standing trial before the General Court Marshal (GCM) sitting at the NAF Base Makurdi have been found guilty of misappropriating the funds of the Multipurpose Cooperative Society.
The Four accused who were executive members of the 151 Base Services Group (151 BSG) Multipurpose Cooperative Society, Makurdi, were found guilty of criminal misappropriation of over N41, 000,000.00.
The four NAF personnel include: Flight Lieutenant (Flt Lt) Sherifi Olawoore, Flying Officer (Fg Offr) Ademola Adekoya, Master Warrant Officer (MWO) Michael Oyebanji and Warrant Officer (WO) Paul Atteh. The personnel were sentenced based on their levels of involvement.
Delivering his judgement, the President of the GCM, Air Commodore Nazib Aliyu, pronounced the four accused personnel guilty of the various charges. Flt Lt Olawoore was tried for negligently performing his duty as the President of the Cooperative, found guilty and awarded six months loss of seniority. In the same vein, Fg Offr Adekoya was tried for negligently performing his duty as Secretary of the Cooperative. He was found guilty and awarded one year loss of seniority.
Meanwhile, MWO Michael Oyebanji, who was the Vice President of the Cooperative, was tried on a 46 count charge, including; Criminal Breach of Trust, Theft, Criminal Conspiracy, Criminal Misappropriation, Making of False Documents and Conduct to the Prejudice of Service Discipline, contrary to Sections 114 and 103 (d) of the Armed Forces Act Cap A20 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 and Sections 312, 287, 96 and 309 of the Penal Code Cap P3 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.
He was found guilty on all 46 counts and subsequently sentenced to serve 21 years imprisonment, cumulatively, as well as reduction in rank to Corporal and ordered to refund all monies misappropriated.
Also, WO Paul Atteh, who was tried for negligently performing his duty as the Treasurer of the Cooperative as well as for the Making of False Documents and Criminal Breach of Trust, was found guilty of all three charges. He was awarded reduction in rank from WO to Sergeant, in the first instance, and then eventually reduced to the rank of Corporal. He is also required to pay a fine of N1,000,000.00. He was also released from detention.