A prosecution witness, Mustapha Yerima, has narrated, Monday, how the former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshall Alex Badeh (retd) acquired a piece of land in Abuja belonging to Ekiti State Governor, Ayo Fayose, with the sum of N650m, to build a shopping mall.
Yerima, who is the fourth prosecution witness and a building contractor said he helped the former Air Force officer to build the shopping mall on the land located along Amino Kano Crescent, Abuja.
Led in evidence by the prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), the witness said the land acquired by Badeh for the purpose of building the shopping mall was originally owned by Ayodele Fayose.
The witness said, “I am a contractor. Life Builders Technology Limited. I do partnership with other companies. But I am the Managing Director of Life Builders.
He said Badeh eventually acquired the land from the third buyer.
Yerima said he reached a bargain with Badeh to build the mall for N1.2bn.
He said that a former Director of Finance and Account of the Nigerian Air Force, Air Commodore Aliyu Yishau (retd), who had earlier testified as the first prosecution witness (PW1), was the middle man between him and Badeh.
Yishau had testified how he was handing over the dollar equivalent of the N558.2m to Badeh at the Chief of Air Staff’s official residence on monthly basis and also how he helped Badeh to use the money to acquire landed assets in Abuja.
Yerima said on Monday that he received N340m as mobilisation for the job and that he also received about N860m directly from the account of the Nigerian Air Force as part of the payment for the construction of the mall.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is prosecuting Badeh alongside a firm, Iyalikam Nigeria Limited, on 10 counts of money laundering bordering on alleged fraudulent diversion of about N3.97bn from the Nigerian Air Force’s account.
The case is before Justice Abang Okon of a Fedetal High Court, Abuja.
The anti-graft agency accused Badeh of using the fund to buy and develop landed assets in Abuja for himself and two sons between January and December 2013.
Yerima said on Monday that he paid the N650m for the land in cash on behalf of Yishau, who was allegedly acting for his boss.