How Badeh Paid N300m for Construction of Shopping Complex – Witness

A prosecution witness in the ongoing trial of Former Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), under President Goodluck Jonathan’s government, Air Marshall Alex Badeh, painted a graphic picture on Wednesday before Justice Okong Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja of how Badeh paid N300m in dollars equivalent for the construction of a shopping complex in Abuja.
Badeh is standing trial alongside a firm, Iyalikam Nigeria Limited, on a 10-count charge bordering on money laundering, criminal breach of trust and corruption to the tune of N3.97bn.
He allegedly abused his office as CDS by using the dollar equivalent of the sum of N1.4bn allegedly stolen from the accounts of the Nigerian Air Force to purchase properties in choice areas of Abuja between January and December, 2013.
The offence, according to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the prosecuting agency, contravenes Section 15 (2) (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended) and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.
Led in evidence by prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs(SAN), Abubakar Haliyu Madaki, a team leader of the Special Task Force in the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission told the court of how the sum of N300m was paid in dollars for the construction of the shopping complex.
He said:”Mustapha Yerima (PW4) got an estimate of N950m to N1.2bn for the construction of the shopping complex.
“Air commondore Yishau promised to get in touch with the 1st defendant and after sometime Yishau got back to him and they agreed between N1-1.1bn.
“However the 1st defendant paid the sum of N300m to enable them start work.
“So as the work was in progressive Yerima was briefing Yishau who promised to tell the Badeh.
“Yerima said when the funds got exhausted and, he was invited by Yishau to meet Sinni Mohammed, who was the pay master of the Nigerian Airforce Camp (NAF).
“He said that Sinni will be paying Yerima for the construction of the plaza from the account of the NAF
“At that time Yishau was about retiring. As soon as Yishau introduced Yerima to Sinni, payment started coming into his company’s account (Rytebuilders) and the construction started
“A total of N860m was received from the NAF. As soon as the money finished the work slowed down. The 1st defendant was very unhappy about this.
“Badeh summoned Yerima to know why the work was not progressing. He now listed the items which was up to N97m and also submitted a bill of N54m and claimed that prices of items in market were on the high side.
“After Yishau’s retirement he introduced Alex Badeh jnr to Yerima so that he can take over the supervision of the project.
“Badeh said that his son will provide the funds.The 1st defendant had N25m investment in Vasimar investment in the name of Badeh’s son.
“Although he had another investment both the investment of the father and son was not up to N102m.
“Now Yerima claimed that he received the sum of N102m, as he was about to conclude the work, he was on finishing touches.
“After adding this fact we decided to invite Badeh’s son to come and make clarification, one of my operatives called him or so only for him to tell my operative that he is in the United States and was due in the country in a week’s time.
“When the investigation started Yerima was invited. He claimed that he informed Yishau who promised to get in touch with Badeh.
“Now Badeh’s son later called Yerima that he should claim the properties.
“So we invited Barrister Umaru Hussein to inquire what property he handed over the documents to.
“He explained that Yishau happens to be his client since 2003 and that he told him that the 1st defendant wanted a befitting retiring home within Maitama.
“He sought for the houses and got between 4-6 houses.
“So a day was fixed and Yishau met with the 1st defendant at No 6 Ogun Rivers Street Maitama to inspect the house.
“When the defendant saw the house he said once he is in that house he will not want to travel overseas”
Trial continues Thursday.

Author: News Editor

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