Mohammed Umar, a key member of the panel investigating the mismanagement of public funds meant for the war against Boko Haram, was arrested after Pres. Buhari received damning reports that he was involved in alleged money laundering and illegal possession of firearms, PT reports.
Despite being his close ally and loyalist, Buhari okayed his arrest, last week, after perusing reports alleging that the retired Air Force officer ran a blackmailing and extortion cartel. Umar retired as an air commodore in the Nigerian Air Force in January 2014.
He retired into enormous wealth, officials involved in the investigations said. Currently, he has six companies, including a private jet company with a fleet size of 10 aircraft. Security sources also said he is also one of Abuja’s biggest property owners. He also has properties in Dubai and London.
Umar became a close ally of Pres. Buhari shortly after the 2015 elections. Armed with a cache of information on Nigeria’s security contracts during GEJ’s administration, he soon became a key figure in the president’s investigative committee on arms procurement.
He suggested most members of the panel” As far back as 20 years ago, when his annual salary couldn’t afford a car, Mr. Umar had a private jet,” one source said. Umar ran local and international businesses while he served in the Nigerian Air Force, one source said.
According to court documents, Umar carried out his recent deals in cash only. Despite owning a private jet company, Easy Jet, and multiple real estates across the world, the total amount traced to his bank accounts was only N165m. During a raid, N300m was discovered in his house.
Other properties seized from his home during the DSS raid include 13 luxury cars – One Range Rover, 2 Rolls Royce, 2 Bentleys, one BMW 7-series, one Mercedes 5550, one Lexus Sports, one Audi R8 and one Porsche Panamera GTs.