The trial of Alex Badeh, a former Chief of Air Staff, continued on June 21, 2017 with the nineteenth prosecution witness, Abubakar Madaki, telling a Federal High Court, Abuja that investigation into a number of properties linked to him exposed how several millions of naira was diverted from Nigeria Air Force's accounts for personal enrichment, and acquisition of properties whose ownership he tried to conceal.
Madaki, an operative of the EFCC, while being led in evidence by the prosecuting counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN, told Justice Okon Abang that investigations were carried out on a number of properties linked to Badeh, including a shopping mall, and particularly a property located at 19, Kumasi Crescent, in Abuja.
He said: “In the course of our investigation, Kabiru Salawu, owner of Platinun Universal Company told us that the Certificate of Occupancy, C of O, of No 19. Kumasi Crescent bearing the name of his company, originally belonged to Alex Badeh Jr, (son of Badeh).
“Badeh Jr, however, returned the original C of O and the agreement to him, and instructed him to lay claim to the property.”
He added that: “In the course of investigating the property, we also discovered that Simi Mohammed, a paymaster with NAF, paid over N300 million in dollar equivalent to Mustapha Yarima, managing director of Ryte Builders Nigeria Limited.”
Yarima, according to Madaki, was paid the money to begin construction of a shopping mall, which was traced to Badeh. He revealed that “an estimate of N950 million to N1.2 billion for the construction of the shopping complex was submitted by Yarima”.
He said: “As work progressed, Yarima regularly briefed Salisu Yishau (a former NAF director, finance/account), who in turn updated Badeh, and when the fund was exhausted, Yishau invited him to meet Mohammed who subsequently paid him from the NAF account.
“Subsequently, payment to Ryte Builders Nigeria Limited resumed, and a total of N860 million was received from the NAF, and as soon as the money got finished work slowed down.”
He added that investigations showed that Badeh “was not happy with the slow pace of work, and summoned a meeting between Yishau and Yarima, in his house”.
“It was at the meeting that Badeh told them that henceforth, he was going to provide fund through his son, Alex Badeh Jr,” Madaki said.
He further testified that after the meeting Yarima received the sum of N102 million from Vetiva Capital Investment. According to him, investigations then shifted to the company and its owner was invited for interrogation.
“Vetiva Capital Investment was represented by Olawolu Mudashiru, son of late Commodore Mudashiru, and he confirmed payment by the company totaling N102 million on behalf of Badeh Jr,” he said, adding that Badeh Jr, claimed that “Vetiva will have 70 per cent interest in the proposed restaurant.”
Madaki further testified that Yarima claimed that not long after he received N102 million from Vetiva Capital Investment, for the conclusion of the construction work, there was a new development.
“Yarima said Yishau called him that Badeh, had sent his lawyer and given instruction that the property which was in the name of Ryte Builders Technologies Limited be transferred to another name,” he said.
According to Madaki, one Timothy Mudi, a lawyer to Badeh, “carried out the directive, and took the document to Badeh.”
He further added that based on the new information received that one Umar Hussein, a lawyer, brought some documents and handed them over to Mudi in the presence of Yishau, he decided to invite Badeh Jr for questioning.
“One of my operatives called him, only for him to tell us that he was in the United State and was due in the country in a week’s time,” he said, noting that he was put on watch list, and letters sent to relevant organizations.
“We also obtained a forfeiture order on the property at 19, Kumasi Crescent, and six or seven other properties,” Madaki added.
He further stated that, both Mudi and Badeh Jr called Yarima to claim the property.
“In the course of investigation, we got Hussein’s phone number and invited him for questioning, and he told us that his boss Badeh wanted to have a befitting retiring home in Maitama,” he said.
Further hearing in the matter continues on June 22, 2017.
Badeh is standing trial along with Iyalikam Nigeria Limited on a 10-count charge bordering on money laundering, criminal breach of trust and corruption to the tune of N3.97billion brought against him by the EFCC.
Head, Media and Publicity
21 June, 2017