A witness has told a Federal High Court in Abuja that N1.7 billion meant for the payment of Nigerian Air Force personnel was diverted by a former Chief of Air Staff, Alex Badeh, on a monthly basis.
The witness, Salisu Abdullahi, who was director of finance at the Nigerian Air Force between October 2010 and December 2013, said personnel salary received from the federal government was N4 billion, while what the actual salaries amounted to just above N2 billion.
“Out of the balance of about N1.6 to N1.7 billion, the sum of N558 million was taken to Mr. Badeh’s personal residence at Niger Barracks after it is exchanged to dollars,” he said.
He added that the balance of the money was returned to Mr. Badeh for further directive, saying expenditures made from the remaining money, were usually approved by the Chief of Air Staff through the procurement and planning committee.
Mr. Abdullahi said Mr. Badeh mostly didn’t confirm receipt of the sum of N558 million in writing.
“The only instruction he gives in writing are those requests forwarded in writing from branches and units for approval,” he said.
“Where such approvals are given, they are forwarded to my office for necessary payments,” Mr. Abdullahi said.
Mr. Abdullahi further said that N120 million was at one time allotted for his office on a monthly basis, but that he rejected the offer, since he did not see any need for the money.
He added that his principal, Mr. Badeh, purchased several houses, including a shopping complex at the cost of N1.1 billion, named under the title of the second defendant, a company named “Iyalikam”.
Mr. Abdullahi said the shopping complex was purchased on the directive of Mr. Badeh, and that it was located at 600, Ogun Rivers Street, Maitama, Abuja.
He also added that he later discovered that Mr. Badeh’s son, Alex Junior, was to use the upper part of the complex as a restaurant.
According to Mr. Abdullahi, another building which Mr. Badeh said he would use as his office was purchased at N650 million, and under the name of a certain engineer, Mustafa Yarima.
Another building was purchased for his son, Alex Junior, at N260 million and renovated at N60 million, while N90 million was used for the purchase of furniture.
A fourth building was purchased at N330 million for Mr. Badeh’s second son, identified merely as ‘Kam’ after a previous property was purchased for Mr. Kam at N240 million which he did not approve of.
Two other houses were also purchased in Kaduna, both of whom were uncompleted building.
All the houses were bought under the name of a third party, and mostly paid for, from the sum of N558 million remitted to Mr. Badeh monthly.
Mr. Abdullahi also revealed that Mr. Badeh’s official salary was within N2 million, but stated that he received absolutely no financial reward for taking N558 million to Mr. Badeh at his residence.
After the prosecution concluded its examination of the witness, the defence counsel sought the approval of the court to adjourn the case, saying that some of the information contained in the witness’ evidence were not in the stated proof of evidence.
Mr. Badeh’s lawyer, Samuel Zibiri, asked the court to permit him time to prepare the necessary questions for cross examination in the interest of fair hearing, giving the fact that new details had emerged that he would need time to properly analyse.
The counsel to the second defendant, Simon Olugunorsiha, also asked that he be given time to see to his health.
The judge, Okon Abang, adjourned the case to March 23, for cross examination of the first Prosecution Witness.