Following the corruption case trial of former Chief of Defence Staff, Alex Badeh, another witness has testified to the Abuja Federal High Court on Wednesday, that Badeh deployed public funds to acquire N320 million house in Abuja for his 28-year old last son, Kam.
The witness, a retired Air Commodore, Aliyu Yishau, who said he served as former Director of Finance and Account of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) while Badeh was the Chief of Air Staff (between September 2012 and December 2013), made this disclosure at the resumption of proceedings in the trial of Badeh and a firm, Iyalikam Nigeria Limited.
Badeh and the firm were arraigned on March 7 this year on a 10-count charge of breach of trust and corruption for allegedly diverting about N3.97 billion from NAF’s account.
In a statement made by Yishau as the first prosecution witness, during a cross-examination by Badeh’s lawyer, Akin Olujinmi (SAN), he said the N320 million house was the second of such property acquired in Wuse 2, Abuja by the former Chief of Defence Staff for his children.
According to him, the first house located at No. 19 Kumasi Crescent, Wuse II, Abuja was bought for Badeh’s first son, Alex Badeh (jnr.) at N260 million, with N60 million spent to renovate it, while N90 million was expended in furnishing the property.
Yishau said the second house, which was bought at N320 million for Badeh’s last son is located adjacent to the one bought for Badeh’s first son.
When asked how he came about the information, the witness said he paid for the houses from the N558.2 million taken monthly by Badeh from NAF’s funds.
He said once he converted the N558.2 million to US dollars and takes it to Badeh in his house, the ex-Chief of Defence Staff will direct him to make payment from it.
The witness said whenever Badeh directed him to make payments, he always takes the cash from Badeh’s house to his (witness’) house, from where he hands the cash to one Engineer Husseini Salau.
“I collected the money from the 1st defendant’s (Badeh’s) resident. I take it to my house and ask them to come and collect it. I took the money to his house and he asked me to remove the equivalent of N260m to pay for the house. I deducted the N260m equivalent from the normal monthly N558.2m I take to him.
“He (the 1st defendant always authorises the deduction for payment whenever I take the monthly money to him. I did not give the house renovation job to Engr Salau. I paid N60m for the renovation of the house based on the instruction of my boss, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh.”
Yishau said he could not recall how many times he paid the money for the renovation. But admitted that the money was not paid at once.
The witness said he was not aware that Alex Badeh jnr. was just a tenant in the property at No. 19 Kumasi Crescent and that he did not see the tenancy agreement between Engr. Salau and Alex Badeh jnr.
He admitted earlier telling the court, in his evidence-in-chief, that Engr. Salau and Alex Badeh jnr. located the house at No. 19 Kumasi Crescent, Wuse 2. He said it will not be correct to say Engr. Salau marketed the house to him. He confirmed that he paid N90 million for the house furniture.
On how he made payment for the furniture at No. 19 Kumasi Crescent and whether it was right for him to have made the payments, Yishau said he was acting on instructions from his boss. He said:
“When I received instruction from my boss, I directed my office at the Nigerian Air Force headquarters to liaise with Alex Badeh jnr. and effect the payment of the N90m.
“In my statement to the EFCC, I said the 1st defendant has two properties in Wuse 2 that cost N260 million and N320 million. The house that cost N320 million is the house adjacent to No. 19 Kumasi Crescent, which was purchased from Honourable Bature.
“That was the one purchased for the last son of the 1st defendant, by name Kam. I cannot remember the address, but can identify it.”
On whether he is a certified accountant, the witness said he worked as an Accountant for the Air Force for 25 years, as uncertified Accountant.
The case has been adjourned to May 9, 11:00 am for further hearing.