Alex Badeh: How ex-Air chief funded N1.2b shopping complex — Witness

* How Badeh Paid N300m for Construction of Shopping Complex — Witness

* EFCC reveals how Badeh bought N240m house for his son in Abuja

A prosecution witness in the trial of former Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Air Marshall Alex Badeh yesterday told Justice Okong Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja how the military chief funded the building of N1.2 billion shopping complex.

Led in evidence by prosecution counsel Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), the prosecution witness, Abubakar Haliyu Madaki, a team leader of the EFCC Special Task Force, told the court of how N300 million was paid in dollars for the construction of the shopping complex.

Badeh is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) before Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court in Maitama, Abuja.

He is standing trial with a firm, Iyalikam Nigeria Limited, on a 10-count charge bordering on money laundering, criminal breach of trust and corruption to the tune of N3.97 billion.

He allegedly abused his office as CDS by using the dollar equivalent of N1.4billion – removed from the accounts of the Nigerian Air Force – to purchase properties in choice areas of Abuja between January and December, 2013.

The offence contravenes Section 15 (2) (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended) and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.

Madaki said: “Mustapha Yerima (PW4) got an estimate of N950 million to N1.2billion for the construction of the shopping complex.

“Air Commodore Yishau (PW1) promised to get in touch with the 1st defendant and after sometime, Yishau got back to him and they agreed between N1 to N1.1 billion.

“However, the 1st defendant paid the sum of N300 million to enable them start work.

“So, as the work was progressing, Yerima was briefing Yishau, who promised to tell the Badeh.

“Yerima said when the funds got exhausted, he was invited by Yishau to meet Mr. Sinni Mohammed, who was the paymaster of the Nigerian Airforce Camp (NAF)

“He said Mr. 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 N860 million was received from the NAF.As soon as the money finished, the work slowed down. The first defendant was very unhappy about this.

“Badeh summoned Yerima to know why the work is not progressing.He now listed the items, which was up to N97 million and also submitted a bill of N54 million, claimingthat 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 his son will provide the funds.The 1st defendant had N25 million worth of 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 N102 million.

“Yerima claimed that he received the sum of N102 million, 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 was in the United States (U.S.) and was due in the country in a week.

“When the investigation started, Yerima was invited.He claimed that he informed Yishau, who promised to get in touch with Badeh. Badeh’s son later called Yerima that he should claim the property.”

Trial continues July 3.

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