How Badeh Cajoled Me to Build House for JTF Commander – Witness

The trial of the former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal, Alex Badeh (retd) continued Thursday with Joseph Okpetu, a construction engineer, as the 13th witness.
He said at a point as Airforce building contractor, he cajoled to build a house for a Commander of Joint Military Task Force (JTF).
At the last sitting on Tuesday, Okpetu had narrated how helped the one time Chief of Defence Staff, Badeh built mansions in Yola, Adamawa, and a house in his village, including a farm.
At Thursday’s proceedings, Okpetu shed more light on the construction of the Yola mansions worth N150m , adding that the construction was done between 2008 and 2012.
Okpetu told the court his company started dealing with the Nigerian Airforce far back 2010, and has carried out building contracts in Kano, Kaduna, Yola, Markurdi and Abuja for the government.
In a close examination by the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), the witness told Justice Okon Abang of a Federal High Court, Abuja, that the already constructed house at Yola was renovated with N50m after it was destroyed by the insurgents, stressing that out of the money meant for the renovation, he was directed to erect a structure for an officer in-charge of the Joint Military Task Force at that time.
According to Okpetu, between N14m and N15m was used to erect the building for the officer in Mubi on Badeh’s directive, adding there was no any award of contract from either the Army or the Navy for the construction of the house of the officer-in-charge.
The witness told the court that he also built a mosque alongside renovating three churches and a civic centre meant for skills acquisition, and was paid the sum of 100m for the services in three instalments by Air Commodore Yishau (1st prosecution witness) into his GTB account.
In a cross examination by the defence counsel, Chief Akin Olujinmi (SAN), the witness held that he wrote and signed all statements he made on eight occasions while in the custody of the EFCC, of which he was detained and released afterwards without spending a single night in EFCC cell, adding that he was forced to write the statements even in the absence of his counsel.
The statements where however admitted in evidence by Justice Abang as exhibit T89-T96 respectively
The court further adjourned to January 25 and 26, 2017 for continuation of trial.

Author: News Editor

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