$1million Was Found In Ex-Air Force Chief’s Apartment- Witness

An operative of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has testified in court as a witness, confirming that a sum of $1million was found in the bedroom of Alex Badeh, former Chief of Air Staff.

The witness Anna Akuson said this in the N3.9 billion fraud trial involving, on Wednesday at the Federal High Court, Abuja.

Akuson testified as PW20, said that the money was found in a wardrobe at the upper apartment of the building located at No. 6 Ogun River Street, Off Danube Street, Maitama, Abuja during a search.

Akuson said: “I am a cameraman working with the EFCC. On February 24, 2016, I was assigned to go on a search with some operatives. The team leader told me the properties (we were to search) belong to Alex Badeh.

“On reaching the place, I started my recording from outside. In the master bedroom (upstairs), we found a travelling bag covered with a pillow-case in the wardrobe. We opened the travelling bag and found US dollars inside. We brought the bag down and the money was counted.

“After the search, we returned to the office and I copied the visual from my camera to a hard drive, after which I burned it to a DVD disc”.

Mr. Badeh is facing trial alongside Iyalikam Nigeria Limited, on a 10-count charge of money laundering to the tune of N3.9billion.

Between January and December, 2013,he allegedly used dollar equivalent of N1.4 billion removed from the accounts of the Nigerian Air Force to purchase a mansion situated at No. 6, Ogun River Street, Off Danube Street, Maitama, Abuja.

However, the defence counsel told the court it was first time he would hear about the certificate of identification and the DVD disc of the recording.

He relied on Section 379 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015.

Mr. Olujimi argued, “I am for the first time seeing these documents in court now that the Registrar handed them over to me.

“There is no doubt that the prosecutor did not include these two documents in the information he filed before this court. That means we have been deprived of the rights of an accused person by the law. These two documents ought to have accompanied the information which the court has”.

Olujimi further applied that the next date of hearing, which is March 1 be vacated to enable the defence study the documents and prepare their defence.

Consequently, Justice Abang of Abuja federal high court adjourned the case to March 14 for continuation of trial.

 

EFCC: How Alex Badeh Diverted $900,00 From NAF

The former Chief of Air Staff, Alex Badeh, has been accused of diverting the sum of $900,000 from the Nigerian Air Force into his personal account, between January and December 2013.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, operatives said that Abubakar Madaki, made the disclosure while testifying as of the 18th prosecution witness at an Abuja Federal High Court.

Badeh, alongside his company, Iyalikam Nigeria Limited, is standing trial on 10 counts of money laundering bordering on the alleged fraudulent removal of about N3.97bn from NAF’s account.

Led by the prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, Madaki alleged that the sum of $900,000, was deposited in Badeh’s accounts with First Bank between 2012 and 2013.

Madaki disclosed that his team, which was investigating the alleged diversion of funds by the ex-Chief of Staff, “discovered that the first defendant (Badeh) and his wife had earlier incorporated a company Iyalikam Nigeria Limited” in whose accounts they allegedly diverted NAF’s funds.

The EFCC investigator informed the court that the sum of N558.2m was being removed from NAF’s account and set aside for Badeh on a monthly basis.

According to Madaki, the sum of $900,000 was part of a cumulative sum of money Badeh began to divert from the account of NAF shortly after becoming the Chief of Air Staff.

“A total of $900,000 between November 2012 and October or November 2013 was found deposited in the account. The money is believed to be part of funds we are investigating.

“The first defendant was the Chief of Air Staff and subsequently the Chief of Defence of Staff.

“Funds from the Nigerian Air Force were being diverted to the second defendant (Iyalikam).

“We also discovered that N558,200, 000 was being set aside for the first defendant from the NAF account every month.

“Part of the funds was exchanged into dollars and handed over to the first defendant.

“Some fractions of the funds were being distributed as directed by the first defendant.

“The major part of the funds was exchanged into dollars and was used to acquire choice properties in Abuja by the director of finance, Salisu Yishau.

“The part of the funds was moved to Right Builders owned by PW4, Mustapha Yerima,” he alleged.

Alex Badeh kept $1m in Wardrobe

One million dollars was recovered by an investigating team of EConomic and Financial Crimes Commission in the wardrobe Of the former Chief of Defence Staff, Alex Badeh.

A witness gave this testimony at the trial of Badeh at the Federal High Court, Abuja. The former military chief is facing trial for money laundering.

Mr Goji Mohammed, the 15th witness to testify in Badeh’s trial, said he was part of the EFCC team, led by Mr Isyaku Sharu, that conducted the search in Badeh’s house in Asokoro, Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the ex-Chief of Defence Staff is standing trial on money laundering offence he allegedly committed while serving as Chief of Air Staff.

The witness also said the team recovered some bank documents, land documents, tax documents and few other instruments.

Mohammed further said the commission received intelligence report on another property located at No. 6 Ogun River Street Maitama, which was found to be Badeh’s property.

He said they accessed the building through the balcony by climbing, adding that they invited the security man of the neigbouring house to witness the search.

“When we climbed in, we were in the living area upstairs so we used the stairs and went to the living area downstairs and started our search from there.

“ When we got to the biggest room in the house, we saw a wardrobe, on opening it, we saw a bag and on opening it contained foreign currency.

“We saw 16 bundles of 50 US dollars notes and two sealed bundles containing 100,000 US dollars which we estimated to amount one million US dollars.

“On further counting the money in our office we discovered it was exactly one million dollars,’’ he said.

He said they also found a red box which he could not precisely remember what was inside, adding that they also found two way bills of furniture supplied to the building.

When the prosecution sought to tender the search warrant, the red box and the way bill as evidence, the move was objected to by the defence team.

Mr Lasun Sanusi (SAN), counsel for the defendant objected to the admissibility of the items, saying they were purportedly obtained from an illegal search.

Sanusi cited Section 115 of Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015, which states that the occupant of a place searched or a relation shall be at the house and see the items seized.

He said no provisions of law permitted state security agents to conduct search by looking for strangers on the street to witness it.

Sanusi said the law gave the owner of the property the impetus to nominate a representative to witness such search if he or she could not be present.

“My Lord, the witness had earlier confirmed that when they were to conduct search on the defendant’s house at Asokoro, they took him along to witness the search, why was this other one different.

“It is on record that the defendant was still in detention when the purported search was done in his house at Maitama which is a clear violation of the law.

“My Lord, we are not against the court admitting the search warrant as evidence but we vehemently oppose to the admissibility of the other items,’’ he said.

On his part, the Prosecution Counsel, Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), argued that Section 149 and 150 of ACJA which deals with house search warrant permitted the presence of two witnesses.

“This permission covers the person to whom the warrant is addressed and a neighbour within the neighbourhood the property is located,’’ he said.

According to him, the provision allows the person to whom warrant is addressed to look for a witness in the neighbourhood.

He, therefore, argued that no provision of the law compelled the property owner to be present before a search warrant can be executed.

Justice Okon Abang, however, adjourned the matter till Feb. 22 for continuation.

(NAN)

Witness Narrates To Court How Former Military Chief Bought N320m Worth House For Son

A Federal High Court in Abuja was told yesterday how former Chief of Defence Staff Alex Badeh allegedly deployed public funds to acquire N320 million house in Abuja for his 28-year-old son, Kam.

A retired Air Commodore, Aliyu Yishau, who said he served as former director of Finance and Account of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) when 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, on a 10-count charge of breach of trust and corruption for allegedly diverting about N3.97 billion from NAF’s account.

Yishau, the first prosecution witness, who was cross-examined by Badeh’s lawyer Akin Olujinmi (SAN), 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.

He said 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. Yishau added that N90 million was expended in furnishing the property.

He said the second house, which was bought at N320 million for Badeh’s last son, is located adjacent to the one bought for the 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 United States dollars and takes it to Badeh in his house, the ex-Chief of Defence Staff would direct him to make payment from it.

The witness said whenever Badeh directed him to make payments, he always takes the cash from the former Chief of Air Staff ’s house to his (witness’) house, from where he hands the cash to Husseini Salau, an engineer.

“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 N260 million to pay for the house. I deducted the N260 million equivalent from the normal monthly N558.2 million 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 Salau. I paid N60 million for the renovation of the house based on the instruction of my boss, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh,” the witness said.

He 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 Jr was just a tenant in the property at No: 19 Kumasi Crescent and that he did not see the tenancy agreement between Salau and Badeh’s son.

He admitted telling the court, in his evidence-in-chief that Salau and Alex Badeh Jr located the house at No. 19 Kumasie Crescent, Wuse 2.

Yishau said it would not be correct to say Salau marketed the house to him. He confirmed that he paid N90 million for furniture for the house.

On how he made payment for the furniture at No:19 Kumasi Crescent, the witness said: “When I received instruction from my boss, I directed my office at the Nigerian Air Force headquarters to liaise with Alex Badeh Jr and effect the payment of the N90 million.”

On whether it was right for him to have made the payments, Yishau said he was acting on instructions from his boss.

“In my statement to the EFCC, I said the 1st defendant has two property 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,” the witness said.

On whether he is a certified accountant, the witness said he worked as an accountant for the Air Force for 25 years, but that he is not a certified accountant.

Further hearing in the case has been adjourned to May 9 at 11 am.

Badeh Loses Bid To Stop Trial

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuj‎a has refused an application by the former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshal Alex Badeh (retd),‎ seeking to stop further hearing on the 10-count criminal charge the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, preferred against him.

At the resumed sitting on the matter on Wednesday, Badeh, through his lawyer, Mr. Samuel Zibiri, SAN, challenged the jurisdiction of the court to try him on the basis of the charge which he said was grossly defective.

In his application dated March 15, Badeh argued that the charge did not disclose any offence known to money laundering Act, insisting that the charge lacked legal validity.

Relying on section 220 of the Administration of the Criminal Justice Act, 2015, ‎the former military chief urged the court to hear and determine the application first before delving into full-blown hearing of the substantive charge against him.

“Where the court is informed of the pendency of an application challenging its jurisdiction, the court is enjoined by plethora of legal authorities to ‎settle the issue of jurisdiction first”, Badeh’s lawyer argued.

‎However, EFCC lawyer, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, urged the court to disregard the application, saying it was a deliberate ploy by the defendant to stall the commencement of his trial.

Jacobs argued that sections 221 ‎and 396(2) of the ACJA, 2015, provided that any objection challenging jurisdiction of the court or validity of a criminal charge must be considered alongside the substantive case.

He contended that it was late in the day for Badeh to raise the objection since his trial has already commenced.

In his ruling, Justice Abang, said there are laid down procedures for the prosecution of criminal ‎cases under the ACJA.

“Having regards to section 396(2) of the ACJA, the application can only be considered alongside the substantive issue and ruling delivered along with judgment on the matter.

“Section 221 of ACJA said objection shall not be entertained during proceeding or trial on the ground that a charge is defective. The court can only entertain and make findings on the application at the end of the proceeding and ruling delivered when the matter is decided.

“Right of the defendant to be heard has been preserved ‎till the end of the proceeding. It would have been a different matter if this is a civil matter or if it was raised before the enactment of the ACJA. As at today, the law has changed.

“The application is hereby refused. The prosecution is hereby directed to call its first witness for the trial to commence now”, the Judge held.

He however gave the prosecution seven days to respond to Badeh’s objection to the trial.

The former CDS is facing trial over allegation that he fraudulently diverted about N3.9billion from account of the ‎Nigerian Air Force within 2013.

The court earlier granted him bail to the tune o N2billion.

‎He was in the charge marked FHC/ABJ/CR/46/2016, alleged to have used the looted funds to purchase choice properties within the highbrow areas in Abuja.

EFCC equally cited a firm, Iyalikam Nigerian Limited, as the 2nd defendant in the charge bordering on money laundering, corruption and criminal breach of trust.

The charge dated February 26, was signed by the Deputy Director of Legal & Prosecution Department at the EFCC, Mr. Aliyu M. Yusuf.

According to the anti-graft agency, Badeh had between January and December, 2013, used dollar equivalent of the sum of N650m, to purchase a commercial plot of land situate at plot 1386, Oda Crescent, Cadastral Zone, A07, Wuse II, Abuja.

Badeh was said to have between March 28 and December 5, 2013, paid the sum of N878, 362, 732, 94‎ (Eight Hundred and Seventy-Eight Million, Three Hundred and Sixty Two Thousand, Seven Hundred and Thirty-Two Naira, Ninety-Four Kobo) which he removed from the account of the Nigerian Air Force, into the account of Rytebuilders Technologies Limited with Zenith Bank Plc, for the construction of a shopping mall on the plot.

He was also alleged to have diverted another dollar equivalent of N304m to the firm, Rytebuilders Technologies Limited, for the completion of the shopping mall.

Whereas EFCC, in count five of the charge, alleged that Badeh used dollar equivalent of the sum of N260m which he removed from the accounts of the Nigerian Air Force and paid to one Ouwatoyin Oke through Platinum Universal Project and Construction to purchase a duplex for his son, Alex Badeh Jnr, it said the defendant further used N60m to renovate the property situate at No 19 Kumai Crescent, Wuse II, Abuja

The prosecution alleged in count-seven of the charge that Badeh used N90m to furnish the said duplex he bought for his son.

The commission told the court that Badeh Jnr. was on the run.

Besides, EFCC, in count-eight of the charge, alleged that the defendant used the sum of $2m, equivalent of the sum of N330m, which he removed from the coffers of the Nigerian Air Force, and paid one honourable Bature to purchase another duplex for him at No. 14 Adzope Crescent, Off Kumasi Crescent, Wuse II, Abuja, as well as gave one Rabiu Isyaku Rabiu the dollar equivalent of the sum of N240m to purchase a semi-detached duplex at No 8A Embu Street, for him.

In count nine, EFCC alleged that Badeh and his son (at large), sometime in April 2014, in Abuja, “did use dollar equivalent of the sum of N62, 000, 000.00 (Sixty Two Million Naira only) removed rom the accounts of the Nigerian Air Force and paid Kabiru Sallau/Platinum Universal Projects to renovate a private property situate at No. 2 Nelson Mandela Street, Asokoro, Abuja, when you reasonably ought to have known that the said funds formed part of the proceed of unlawful activity (to wit: criminal breach of trust and corruption) Air Chief Marshal Alex S. Badeh and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 15(2) (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibit

Court Adjourns Badeh’s Case Till March 16

The trial of former Chief of Defence Staff, Alex Badeh(rtd) was on Monday adjourned by an Abuja Federal High Court.

Justice Okon Abang adjourned the matter till March 16 following an application by the defence counsel, Akin Olujimi who informed the court that the defence was served late with additional proof evidence and he is yet to digest it.

Quoting section 392, Abang held that the defendant requires ample time to study the additional proof of evidence.

Abang consequently adjourned till March 16 for commencement of trial.

Olujimi had informed the court that the prosecution filed an additional proof of evidence late Friday, hence he would need time to study it so as to prepare for defence.

The defence counsel also told the court that he had not been properly briefed by his client who is still in Kuje Prison due to the fact that he is yet to meet the bail condition the court earlier granted him.

“It is on record that Baden is still in Kuje Prison even though the court had granted him bail. The process of carrying out that order has not been completed yet and he is yet to brief he on the matter.

“Heaven will not fall if the court adjourns the matter,” the defence counsel said.

The prosecution led by Rotimi Jacobs urged the court to dismiss the application for adjournment and continue with the trial as earlier scheduled on the ground that the defence counsel has the privilege to go to the prisons for his briefing with the accused person.

Badeh is facing a 10-count charge ‎of‎ criminal breach of trust and corruption to the tune of N3.9b.

The former Chief of Defence Staff is alleged to have used funds of the Nigeria Air Force to purchase choice property in Abuja.

According to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Badeh illegally used N60m to renovate his sons house, which he purchased for N260m in Abuja, between January and December 2013.

The former Defence chief is also alleged to have used N878m being funds of the Air Force to build a shopping mall in Abuja.

Court Grants Badeh Bail Of N2bn

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) told a Federal High Court Thursday that it will tendered the $1million its agents allegedly recovered from the Abuja home of former Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Alex Badeh.

Prosecution lawyer, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN) said this while arguing his counter-affidavit to Badeh’s bail motion.

Badeh was arraigned before the court on March 7 with a firm, Iyalikam Nigeria Limited, on a 10-count charge of breach of trust and corruption.

Although Badeh’s lawyer, Samuel Zibri (SAN) denied that money was recovered from his client’s house, Jacobs insisted that he will produce the money as exhibit before the court next week when trial commences.

“About N5b is involved in this case. We even saw part of the money in the house to make matters worse. We will bring the $1m dollars here as exhibit,” Jacobs said while opposing bail to Badeh.

Justice Okon Abang however granted bail to Badeh at N2billion, with two sureties at N1b each.

Ruling on Badeh’s bail application, the judge rejected Jacobs’ objection and held that the grounds on which the prosecution opposed the bail could not overrule the presumption of innocence granted a defendant in a criminal case, as provided under Section 36(5) of the Constitution.

“In the final analysis, and having regard to the amount in the charge, though still in the realm of allegation, the 1st defendant is admitted to bail at N2b and two sureties at N1b each,” Justice Abang said.

He added that each of the sureties must possess landed property in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), which must be valued at N1b.

The judge said the sureties must submit documents in respect of the property to the court after the court’s registrar and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) must have verified their validity.

The sureties are to swear to affidavit of means, while Badeh is to deposit his international and official passports with the court.

The prosecution had, while opposing the bail accused Badeh of aiding the escape of his wife and son, Alex Badeh Jr, who are allegedly linked to the crime for which the ex-CDS is being tried.

An EFCC detective, Yusuf Kassim said, in an affidavit supporting the prosecution’s counter-affidavit, that Badeh’s purported act clogged government’s anti insurgency efforts.

Kassim: “That the properties referred to were purchased by the applicant through his cronies/agents with the funds released to his office for the fight against insurgency

“Some of the money were converted to dollars before being used to purchase the properties so as to disguise the origin of the funds.

“Our investigation also revealed that some of the close associates of the applicant including his wife, son and daughter who also linked with the crime being alleged have all absconded from jurisdiction with the assistance of the applicant so as to avoid being prosecuted.

“In the course of our investigation, Alex Badeh Jr, the son of the applicant, made his statement with the commission and was allowed to go home while he was asked to report back later, but he absconded from jurisdiction with the connivance of the applicant herein and he is now at large.

“Our Lagos office is also investigating the applicant in relation to over N4b he obtained from the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) under fraudulent circumstances.

“The offences being alleged against the defendant border on economic sabotage that strikes at the very foundation of the well-being and existence of Nigeria.

“The security of the Nigerian nation was compromised and the lives of innocent Nigerian soldiers in the battlefront against terrorists were endangered on account of diversion of the funds meant for the security of the nation by the applicant,” Kassim said.

Justice Abang has adjourned to March 14 for the commencement of trial.

Court Jails Ex-Defence Chief, Alex Badeh

A Federal High Court in Abuja today ordered former chief of defence staff, Air Marshal Alex Badeh remanded in Kuje Prison until Thursday, when his bail application will be heard.

The court has also fixed 14 March for the beginning of his trial.

Badeh is facing a 10-point charge of theft and corruption, according to an indictment by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. The stolen money belonged to the Nigerian Air Force.

Mr. Badeh was arraigned before Justice Okon Abang for alleged  fraud, relating to the diversion of N3.9 billion meant for the purchase of arms for the Nigerian military.

Parts of the 10-count charge against him are:

“That you Air Chief Marshal Alex S. Badeh (whilst being the Chief of Air Staff, Nigerian Air Force) and Iyalikam Nigeria Limited between January and December 2013 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did use dollar equivalent of the sum of N1.1 billion removed from the accounts of the Nigerian Air Force to purchase for yourselves a mansion situate at No. 6 Ogun River Street, Off Danube Street, Maitama, Abuja, thereby committed an offence contrary to section 15(2)(d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended) and punishable under section 15(3) of the same Act.

“That you Air Chief Marshal Alex S. Badeh (whilst being the Chief of Air Staff, Nigerian Air Force) and Iyalikam Nigeria Limited between January and December 2013 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did use dollar equivalent of the sum of N650,000,000 removed from the accounts of the Nigerian Air Force to purchase for yourselves a commercial plot of land situate at Plot 1386, Oda Crescent Cadastral Zone A07, Wuse II, Abuja.

“That you Air Chief Marshal Alex S. Badeh (whilst being the Chief of Air Staff, Nigerian Air Force) and Iyalikam Nigeria Limited between January and December 2013 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did use an aggregate sum of N878,362,732.94 removed from the accounts of the Nigerian Air Force and paid into the account of Rytebuilders Technologies Limited with Zenith Bank Plc for the construction of a shopping mall situate at Plot 1386, Oda Crescent Cadastral Zone A07, Wuse II, Abuja for yourself.

“That you Air Chief Marshal Alex S. Badeh (whilst being the Chief of Air Staff, Nigerian Air Force) and Iyalikam Nigeria Limited between January and December 2013 in Abuja within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did use dollar equivalent of the sum of N304 million removed from the accounts of the Nigerian Air Force and paid into the account of Rytebuilders Technologies Limited to complete the construction for yourselves a shopping mall situate at Plot 1386, Oda Crescent Cadastral Zone A07, Wuse II, Abuja for yourself.”

Justice Abang struck out the bail application filed by Mr. Badeh’s counsel, Samuel Zibiri, on the grounds that it was filed ahead of his client’s (Mr. Badeh’s) arraignment.

BREAKING : Court Sends Ex-CDS, Alex Badeh To Jail

A Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja, has ordered a former Chief of Defence Staff, Alex Badeh, remanded at the Kuje Maximum Prison, pending the determination of his bail application on March 10.

Justice Okon Abang gave the ruling Monday after Mr. Badeh was arraigned for alleged fraud, relating to the diversion of N3.9 billion meant for the purchase of arms for the Nigerian military.

Mr. Abang struck out the bail application filed by Mr. Badeh’s counsel, Samuel Zibiri, on the grounds that it was filed ahead of his client’s (Mr. Badeh’s) arraignment.

The judge further ruled that the hearing for Mr. Badeh’s bail would commence on March 10, adding that it was important for the application to be determined before the commencement of trial.

The judge said the trial of the substantive case, billed to commence on March 14, would be on a day to day basis.

Mr. Badeh was to be arraigned before Justice Abang on Thursday, March 3, but the case was shifted to March 7 owing to the absence of the judge.

Mr. Badeh, a retired Air Chief Marshal, was arraigned on a 10-count charge bordering on money laundering, criminal breach of trust and corruption.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is accusing Mr. Badeh, of using funds assigned to the Nigerian Air Force to purchase a mansion in Abuja.

The commission said the purchase was done with the dollar equivalent of N1.4 billion.

“Mr. Badeh, while being the CDS, among other things between January and December, 2013, allegedly used dollar equivalent of the sum of N1.4billion (One Billion, One Hundred Million Naira) removed from the accounts of the Nigerian Air Force to purchase a mansion situated at No. 6, Ogun River Street, Off Danube Street, Maitama, Abuja,” the EFCC said in a statement Thursday.

The offence is in contravention of Section 15 (2) (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended) and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act, the anti-graft body said.

The former defence chief denied allegations of corruption against him.

On Thursday, Mr. Badeh, who has been in detention for about three weeks, accused the EFCC of “persecuting” him and conducting a media trial against him.

Mr. Badeh said he had repeatedly assured the commission of his readiness to cooperate with the investigation, yet was detained for a prolonged time without being arraigned in court.

EFCC Finds $1m At Residence Of Former Air Chief

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has recovered $1m cash from one of the houses belonging to the immediate past Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh(retd.).

It was learnt that the money was recovered after detectives searched a mansion located at 6, Ogun River Street, Maitama, Abuja.

A detective at the EFCC, who did not want his name in print, said, “We have seized several properties belonging to Badeh. A few days ago, we returned to the mansion located at 6, Ogun River Street, Maitama.

“In the presence of several witnesses, including neighbours, we searched the house and recovered $1m in cash. The money has been lodged as evidence.”

When our correspondent visited the mansion on Sunday, the EFCC seal was seen on the gate, with the warning, ‘EFCC, Keep off!” written all over the fence.

The property, which is said to be worth over N1.1bn, is one of the five properties seized from the ex-defence chief.

Some of the properties were said to have been purchased, renovated and furnished for a son of the former CDS, Alex Badeh (Jnr.).

Badeh also allegedly bought a commercial plot of land at Plot 1386, Oda Crescent, Cadastral Zone A07, Wuse II, Abuja for N650m.

They were said to have paid N878m for the construction of a shopping mall at Plot 1386, Oda Crescent, Cadastral Zone A07, Wuse II, Abuja, and another sum of N304m to complete the construction.

The anti-graft agency also accused them of paying N260m to purchase a duplex at No. 19 Kumasi Crescent, Wuse II, Abuja, for Badeh’s son.

The sum of N60m was said to have been paid for the renovation of the property and another N90m to furnish the property.

The retired Air Force officer also allegedly paid N330m to one Honourable Bature to purchase a duplex at No. 14 Adzope Crescent, Off Kumasi Crescent, Wuse II, Abuja.

They were also accused of paying N240m to Rabiu Isyaku Rabiu to buy a semi-detached duplex at No. 8A Embu Street, by Sigma Apartment, Wuse II, Abuja.

They also allegedly renovated a private property at No. 2, Nelson Mandela Street, Asokoro, Abuja, with N62m.

In the charges, signed by EFCC’s Deputy Director, Legal and Prosecution Department, Aliyu Yusuf, the anti-graft agency alleged that Badeh removed the sum of N3.9bn from the accounts of the Nigerian Air Force.

But Badeh had, last week, denied ownership of the properties seized by the anti-graft agency.

Badeh, who has remained in the EFCC custody since February 8, has been charged along with a firm, Iyalikam Nigeria Limited, before Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court in Abuja.

He is set to appear in court on Monday (today).

The Punch

$1.6m Of N4bn NIMASA Fraud Traced To Ex-NAF Official

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has traced $1.6m to a former Director, Finance and Accounting at the Nigerian Air Force, Air Commodore S.A. Yushau (retd.).

Yushau was on February 17 moved to Lagos alongside the immediate past Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh (retd.), over a fresh investigation involving the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency.

As part of efforts to ensure improved security in the Nigerian maritime sector, NIMASA on August 26, 2013, signed an agreement with the Air Force with a view to providing effective air surveillance and monitoring of the nation’s coastal area.

Badeh, who was the Chief of Air Staff, signed on behalf of the Air Force while Mr. Patrick Akpobolokemi, who was the Director-General of NIMASA, signed on behalf of the maritime agency.

In furtherance to the MoU, N4.4bn (in dollars and naira) was reportedly transferred from the bank account of NIMASA to the air force. However, EFCC investigations revealed that the money was diverted to private accounts.

Yushau, who was the Director of Finance and Accounts when the MoU was signed, was said to have diverted $1.6m which was transferred to the air force account by NIMASA shortly before his retirement.

A top source at the EFCC told our correspondent on the condition of anonymity that out of the money, Yushau gave $800,000 to Badeh.

He, however, said Badeh denied receiving the money.

The source said, “We traced about $1.6m to Yushau who was the Director of Finance and Accounts in 2013. In his statement, he said he gave $800,000 to Badeh while Badeh gave him permission to take another $800,000 as a retirement gift.

“He (Yushau) said he spent part of the money on building a house in his home state in the North but the building collapsed. He said he invested the remaining money in some businesses so we are trying to see if we can recover some of his assets.

“However, Badeh has denied the allegations and we are still holding him.”

The source said the anti-graft agency had traced about five properties in Abuja belonging to Badeh but added that the retired military officer had denied ownership of the properties.

“We have traced about five properties we believe were bought by Badeh through proxies but he has denied ownership of all the properties. Badeh is really giving us a tough time.”

Meanwhile, it was learnt that the EFCC was making frantic efforts to finalise investigations into the immediate past Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu.

It will be recalled that the commission on January 28 arrested Amosu alongside 11 officers for his alleged role in the $2.1bn arms scam.

The EFCC subsequently obtained a holding charge giving it permission to hold Amosu and other officers for 30 days.

The 30 days will lapse on Monday.

The source said, “We still have a lot of investigations to do and we are not sure if we will be able to arraign Amosu next week. If we cannot do that, we will approach a court to grant us an extension.”

The investigation on Amosu focused on how 10 contracts totalling $930,500,690 were awarded; the payment of N4,402,687,569.41 for unexecuted contracts; the procurement of two used Mi-24V helicopters instead of the recommended Mi-35M series at $136,944,000.00; and the excessive pricing of 36D6 Low Level Air Defence Radar at $33m instead of $6m per one.

The EFCC has already seized some properties belonging to Amosu worth over N500m while N381m was recovered from a company owned by Amosu’s wife, Omolara.

Efforts to get the reaction of the EFCC spokesperson, Wilson Uwujaren, did not succeed as calls to his mobile telephone did not go through.

The Punch