A witness in the ongoing trial of the former Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Air Vice Marshal Alex Badeh (retd), has narrated before a Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja, how he was paid from the coffers of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) to build a shopping mall in Abuja for Badeh.
A prosecution witness, Mustapha Yerima, who is the managing director of Ryte Builders Nigeria Limited, testified on Wednesday how monies were allegedly diverted from the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), account to construct a shopping mall for a former Chief of Air Staff.
At the resumed hearing, Yerima, who had previously narrated how he purchased the 3060sqm land on which the shopping mall was built for N650million, explained that he made the purchase in the name of his company and later transferred the documents at the instructions of Air Commodore Yushau, the then Director of Finance and Accounts.
According to him, “They (Yushau and Badeh) did not want to get involved directly, so they asked me to purchase the land for them. Ahmed Maiwada was the lawyer who handled the purchase, acting strictly for me as his client.
“On May 23, 2013, Maiwada advised me to go ahead and commit valuable consideration in exchange for the original Certificate of Occupancy over the land. He also advised me to execute the Deeds on his behalf.
“The Plot 1386 was originally a residential land. I only got to know, much later, that the land had previously belonged to one Fayose Ayodele when we obtained the Certificate of Occupancy. I cannot remember the name of the company that the land documents were transferred to because Air Commodore Yushau deliberately refused to give us the name.
“I prepared the contract schedule and submitted a bill of N 1.2 billion to Yushau for the construction of the plaza, to which he responded that he would discuss with his boss and get back to me.
“Yushau gave me N408 million, at first, and another N300 million in dollar equivalent as mobilization costs. He explained that subsequent payments would be made from the Nigerian Air Force. I also received N9 million for pre-contract expenses.
“In one of the statements I made at the EFCC on January 6, 2016, I gave a list of the payments which I received from the Nigerian Air Force, which totaled N864million.”
“During this process, I met with Yushau several times. I even met with both Yushau and his boss (Badeh) on one occasion,” the witness summed.
The matter was adjourned to Thursday, June 16, 2016 for further cross-examination.