Court adjourns Badeh’s trial to April 19

by on April 13, 2016

Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja, yesterday adjourned further hearing on the 10-count criminal charge the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, slammed on the immediate past Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, to April 19 this year.
At yesterday’s hearing, while being cross-examined by Badeh’s lawyer, Chief Akinolu Olujumi (SAN), a witness of the EFCC, Air Commodore Abdullahi Yushau told Justice Abang that he kept no personal records to prove all the cash transactions made between him and Badeh.
The witness was formerly the director of Finance and Accounts at the Nigerian Air Force, NAF.
Yushau had earlier revealed before the court how Badeh, who was alleged to have siphoned over N3.9billion from account of the Nigerian Air Force within 2013, monthly diverted N558.2million from funds meant for the payment of salaries of NAF officials.
The witness told the court that all the past Air Chief Marshals equally siphoned the same amount monthly when they were in office.
The ex-NAF finance director, who began his evidence-in-chief on March 16, had informed the court that no one dared to query all the former air chiefs on how they expended the diverted funds.
“The practice of setting aside the N558.2million was already there even before I was appointed as the director of finance in 2010,” he said.
He told the court that the system was in place when he served under former Air Chief Marshal M.D. Umar from October 2010 to October 2012.
Umar is equally under the investigative lens of the EFCC.
Yushau said he duly briefed Badeh about how his predecessors handled funds that accrued to the NAF when he assumed office and he decided to continue the practice.
He, however, told the court yesterday that the command finance officer whose duty it was to keep record had all the records of the amount of the dollar equivalent he handed to Badeh at his official residence on monthly basis and other transactions.
The EFCC is prosecuting Badeh alongside a firm, Iyalikam Nigeria Limited, on a 10-count of money laundering bordering on alleged fraudulent removal of about N3.97billion from NAF’s account.
The anti-graft agency accused Badeh of using the fund to buy and develop choice properties in Abuja for himself and two sons between January and December 2013.
Badeh served as the Chief of Air Staff before he was elevated to the position of Chief of Defence Staff till he retired from the military last year.

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