A former Director of Finance, Nigerian Air Force, Air Commodore Salisu Abdullahi Yushau told the federal high court in Abuja on Tuesday that former Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Air Marshal Alex Badeh paid N1.1b cash in dollars equivalent for a shopping mall in Abuja at once.
Yushau who was being cross examined by Alex Bahed’s counsel, Chief Akin Olujimi (SAN) in the ongoing trial said that himself, one Barrister Useni Umar and Badeh inspected three properties in Maitama and Wuse 11 after which the defendant chose the shopping mall . The witness admitted that after the payment was made, Badeh gave the name of Iyanikam Property Limited, which is the second defendant in the case, to Barrister Useni Umar who acted as the middleman.
Yushau added that when the documents of sale were perfected by Umar, he (Umar) gave them to him and he in turn gave the documents to Badeh. On whether his statement at the office of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), contradict his oral evidence-in-chief before the court, the witness said he did not capture everything he told the court in the statement he made at the EFCC because the answers he provided in the statement were based on questions.
He said” I cannot remember everything I said in my statement to the EFCC because I was answering the questions based on how they were being put across to me by the investigators. “I know that it is not everything I am telling the court here that was captured in my statement but the fact is that everything I told the EFCC was within my knowledge and the records are theme. “After the agent we hired inspected the property located on Ogun Rivers street in Maitama and the one belonging to Alex Badeh Junior in Wuse 2, we inspected the properties with my boss Air chief Marshal Badeh.
“After being satisfied with the property, he (Badeh) gave me a name that the property will be bought into; and I forwarded the name following the instruction of my boss, Iyanikam Nig Ltd. “I did not say all this in my statement because I was answering the questions as they were put through to me by the EFCC,” he said. The witness also told the court that he was appointed as director, Finance and Account of NAF and also said that he had told his boss that he wanted to leave the service even his due date of retirement. The case continues today at 11.30am.
The EFCC is prosecuting Badeh alongside a firm, Iyanikam Nigeria Limited, on 10 counts of money laundering bordering on alleged fraudulent removal of about N3.97bn from NAF’s account. The anti-graft agency accused Badeh of using the fund to buy and develop landed assets in Abuja for himself and two sons between January and December 2013. Badeh served as the Chief of Air Staff and later became the Chief of Defence Staff till he retired from the military last year.