A former Director of Finance in the Nigerian Air Force, Air Commodore Salisu Abdullahi Yushau (rtd) who is a prosecution witness in the ongoing trial of former Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, yesterday told the Federal High Court, Abuja how separate sums of N60 million and N90 million were paid to Platinum Universal Projects for the renovation and furnishing of Badeh’s son’s N330 million duplex in Wuse, Abuja.
Alex Badeh was said to have rejected an earlier property purchased for him at the cost of N240 million. Testifying before the Federal High Court, Abuja, Yushau, who was under cross examination by the defence counsel, Chief Akin Olujimi (SAN), said he did not tell the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) about the N90 million disbursement because it was not part of the questions asked by the anti-graft agency.
At the resumed hearing, the witness confirmed his earlier statement as requested by the defence counsel that N558 was million set aside monthly to meet the cost of general administration of the staff of Badeh’s office even as he affirmed that Badeh bought houses worth N50 million and N300 million respectively in Abuja; that he purchased another in Kaduna State for N80 million and that he had renovated them with N75 million. He also affirmed that his former boss acquired some other property in the country.
According to him, he was instructed by Badeh to purchase some of the houses. He added that although payments for all the houses were not carried out by him, he assisted in paying for the first four property.
Yushau also testified that he assumed the position of the Director, Finance, about two months after Badeh was appointed Chief of Air Staff and that since then, he had maintained the existing tradition of converting some amount into dollars and giving them to Badeh at the end of every month.
The anti-graft agency accused Badeh of using the funds to buy and develop landed assets in Abuja for himself and his two sons between January and December 2013.
Badeh and his company were also accused of removing from the accounts of the NAF, and using the dollar equivalent of N650 million to purchase a commercial plot at plot 1386, Oda crescent Cadastral zone AO7 Wuse ll, Abuja.