A retired Air Commodore, Aliyu Yishau, told a Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday that a former Chief of Defence Staff, Alex Badeh, acquired a house in Abuja for his 28-year old son, Kam, with N320m belonging to the Nigerian Air Force.
Yisahau, who is the first prosecution witness in Badeh’s ongoing trial, served as a Director of Finance and Account of the Nigerian Air Force while Badeh was the Chief of Air Staff between September 2012 and December 2013.
Badeh and the firm, Iyalikam Nigeria Limited, were arraigned on March 7, 2016 on 10 counts of money laundering involving alleged diversion of about N3.97bn from NAF’s account.
Yishau, while being cross-examined by Badeh’s lawyer, Chief Akin Olujinmi (SAN), on Wednesday, said the N320m house was the second landed assets acquired in Wuse 2, Abuja by the former Chief of Defence Staff for his children.
He said the first located at No: 19 Kumasi Crescent, Wuse II, Abuja was bought for Badeh’s first son, Alex Badeh (Jnr) at N260m. Kam is said to be Badeh’s last son.
He said, “In my statement to the EFCC, I said the 1st defendant has two property in Wuse 2 that cost N260m and N320m. The house that cost N320m 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.”
He said N60m was spent to renovate the property worth N260m, while N90m was expended in furnishing the property.
Yishau said the second house, which was bought at N320m for Badeh’s last son is located adjacent to the one bought for Badeh’s first son.
When asked how he came about the information, the witness said he paid for the houses from the N558.2m taken monthly by Badeh from NAF’s funds.
He had in his evidence-in-chief narrated how he converted the N558.2m to United States dollars and took it to Badeh in his house.
He said Badeh would sometimes direct him to make payment for property with the money.
He said, “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 N260m to pay for the house. I deducted the N260m equivalent from the normal monthly N558.2m 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 Engr Salau. I paid N60m for the renovation of the house based on the instruction of my boss, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh.”
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 (Jnr.) was just a tenant in the property at 19 Kumasi Crescent and that he did not see the tenancy agreement between him (Alex Badeh Jnr.) and Salau.
On how he made payment for the furniture at No19 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 (Jnr.) and effect the payment of the N90m.”
The trial judge adjourned further trial till May 9.