A mind-boggling account of how former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshall Alex Badeh (rtd, plundered the treasury of the Nigerian Air Force came out yesterday when the Federal Government opened its case against Badeh yesterday.
The Federal Government through the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had on February 29, 2016 filed a 10-count charge bordering on alleged fraudulent pilfering of about N3.97bn from NAF’s account against Badeh and Iyalikam Nig Ltd, a company believed to be owned by him at the Federal High Court in Abuja.
Led in evidence by the prosecution lawyer, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), a former Director of Finance and Account of the Nigerian Air Force, Air Commodore Aliyu Yishau (rtd), gave a detailed account of how he regularly assisted Badeh to corner the sum of N558.2m by converting it to its dollar equivalent.
Yishau disclosed that he divertted the money throughout the period of September 2012 and December 2013 when Badeh served as the Chief of Air Staff.
The star witness testified that the NAF usually receive monthly allocations in its Capital Vote account with the Central Bank of Nigeria in Lagos; the Overhead Vote account with the Zenith Bank Plc and the Personnel and Emolument Vote account with the UBA.
He further revealed that the sum of N558.2m was being taken away from the Personnel and Emolument account as fund meant for “general administration of the Chief of Air Staff”.
Yishau told the trial judge, Justice Okon Abang that the he helped Badeh acquire and develop landed assets in Abuja with the N558.2m which was being drawn from the Personnel Emolument account of the NAF on monthly basis.
He said the N558.2m was part of the excess in the N4bn which the NAF received monthly in the Personnel and Emolument account after the salaries and allowances of permanent and temporary staff must have been paid