How Badeh moved N1.4bn in 7 months — Witness

THE trial of former Chief of Air Staff, Alex Badeh, continued yesterday before Justice Okon Abang, of the Federal High Court, Abuja with an operative of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nuhu Buhari, revealing details how the former Air Chief allegedly siphoned N1.4 billion within seven months to construct a five-story shopping mall.

Buhari an investigative officer and forensic analyst at the forensic department of the anti-graft agency, informed the trial court that, upon the constitution of a Special Task Force (STF) team, in November 2015 by the acting chairman of the commission, to investigate the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) on arms procurement and the Nigerian Airforce contracts, they were assigned five addresses and properties to investigate.

The addresses located in Abuja, were listed as: 19, Kumasi Crescent, Wuse 2; 6, Ogun River Crescent, Maitama; 2, Nelson Mandela, Asokoro; 2, Oda Crescent off Aminu Kano Crescent Wuse 2 and a plaza on Ahmadu Bello way, Garki 2.

As the lead investigator into the properties, he informed the court that, the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) was written for records of the properties, which they were furnished with and then proceeded to visit each of the properties.

While being led in evidence by the prosecuting counsel, Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), the investigator said, on getting to the property at 2, Oda Crescent, Wuse 2, Abuja, they found out that the property was a five floor mall under construction.

“The contractor was invited and was obliged the commission with the project’s account, on the analysis of the project account, it was discovered that over N800million out of the N1.2billion, which was the total turnover to the account; came straight from the Nigerian Air Force.

“The Managing Director of Wright builders, the construction company was invited to shed more light on the inflow from the Nigerian Air Force account and explain the source of the balance of N500million, discovered to have come straight from the Bureau de Change (BDC) and he admitted that he was contacted by the then Chief of Air Staff to procure the land and build the mall for him.

“The BDC operator who paid in the money into the account was also invited while the rest of the transaction was traced to another of their colleague; Bani Nbaka Bureau de Change, that admitted receiving same from Mustapha Yahaya, Managing Director of Wright Builders,” he stated.

Upon invitation by the commission, the operator of Bani Mbaka BDC admitted receiving same from former director of finance at the Nigerian Airforce, S. A. Yushau for the construction of the mall.

“Analysis on the account of wright builders with Zenith bank revealed that all monies came from NAF 106bn account and NAF camp account, Mogadishu barracks.

Badeh is standing trial alongside a firm, Iyalikam Nigeria Limited, on a 10-count charge bordering on money laundering, criminal breach of trust and corruption to the tune of N3.97billion.

He was alleged to have used the dollar equivalent of the sum of N1.4billion removed from the accounts of the Nigerian Air Force to purchase properties in choice areas of Abuja between January and December, 2013.

The offence contravenes 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 however adjourned to May 2, 3 and 4, 2017 for continuation of trial and evidence of the 17th Prosecution witness.

 

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