Judge’s absence stalls Badeh, Metuh’s trial

THE trial of former Air force Chief, Air Marshal Alex Badeh (rtd), and former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, Olisa Metuh, was on Monday stalled due to the absence of trial Judge, Justice Okon Abang.

Justice Abang’s absence, sources said, was due to his inability to connect a flight from his new station, Asaba to Abuja, where the two are being tried for corruption related offences.

Abang was redeployed from Abuja as Judge of the Federal High Court, on the Asaba Division of the court, Delta State, January this year.

Metuh is facing an amended seven-count charge preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)

The former PDP spokesman is standing trial, alongside a Company, Destra Investment Limited for allegedly receiving N400 million from the immediate past National Security Adviser (NSA), Col Mohammed Sambo Dasuki (rtd).

One of the charges against Metuh reads, “That you, Olisa Metuh and Destra Investment Limited, on or about the 24th November, 2014, in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, took possession of the sum of N400 million only, paid into the account of Destra Investments Limited with Diamond Bank Plc. Account No 0040437573 from the account of the Office of the National Security Adviser with the Central Bank of Nigeria without contract award, when you reasonably ought to have known that the said fund formed part of the proceeds of an unlawful activity of Col. Mohammed Sambo Dasuki (Rtd) the then NSA (To wit: criminal breach of trust and corruption) and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 15(2) (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011, as amended in 2012 and punishable under section 15(3) of the same Act.”

Meanwhile, the former Chief of Defence Staff, Badeh is also facing trial before Justice Abang for allegedly diverting funds from accounts of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) and used same to purchase choice properties in Abuja.

The anti-graft agency alleged that the former Defence boss, between January and December 2013, used N60million to renovate for his son, Alex Badeh Jnr, a duplex situate at 19, Kumai Crescent, Wuse II, Abuja.

The commission told the court that Badeh’s son, who is currently at large, allegedly paid the sum of N878, 362, 732, 94‎ into the account of Rytebuilders Technologies Limited, for the construction of a shopping mall located at Plot 1386, Oda Crescent, Cadastral Zone, A07, Wuse II, Abuja.

The charge marked FHC/ABJ/CR/46/2016, was signed by the Deputy Director of Legal & Prosecution Department at the EFCC, Mr Aliyu M. Yusuf. ‎A firm, Iyalikam Nigerian Limited, was equally cited as the second defendant in the charge.

Among other assets the prosecution alleged that Badeh acquired with funds siphoned from accounts of the Nigerian Air Force, included a duplex at 14, Adzope Crescent, Off Kumasi Crescent, Wuse II, Abuja, as well as, a semi-detached duplex at No 8A Embu Street, by Sigma Apartment, Wuse II, Abuja.

Count one ‎of the charge reads: “That you Air Chief Marshal Alex S. Badeh (whilst being the Chief of Air Staff, Nigerian Air Force) and Iyalikan Nigeria Limited, between January and December, 2013, in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this honourable ‎court, did use dollar equivalent of the sum of N1.1billion removed from the accounts of the Nigerian Air Force, to purchase for yourselves a mansion situate at 6, Ogun River Street, Off Danube Street, Maitama, Abuja, when you reasonably ought to have known that the said funds formed part of proceed of unlawful activity (to wit: criminal breach of trust and corruption) of Air Chief Marshal Alex S. Badeh, and you 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.”

The matter was adjourned till today for continuation if trial.