The case involving Chief of Air Staff (COAS), Alex Badeh, was again opened yesterday as a new witness took the stand to reveal how he diverted over N500million monthly from the Nigerian Air Force’s Personnel and Emolument Vote Account with the United Bank for Africa (UBA).
According to the witness, Air Commodore Aliyu Yishau (rtd), the said diversion took place between September 23 and December 2013, while he served as former Director of Finance and Account of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), which was when Badeh was CAS.
Yishau revealed that he usually assisted Badeh in diverting the money which he first converts to dollar before handing it to Badeh at his official residence.
He said the NAF received monthly allocations in its Capital Vote account with the Central Bank of Nigeria in Lagos; the Overhead Vote account with Zenith Bank Plc and the Personnel and Emolument Vote account with the UBA.
Yisau continued saying he assisted Badeh in acquiring and developing landed property in Abuja with the N558.2 million taken monthly form the Personnel Emolument account.
Although, I cannot remember the figure each year, we received a little about N4 billion monthly for the personnel emolument allocation account. However, our total wage bill as at that time was above N2 billion monthly.The balance of the personnel emolument was usually about N1.6 billion to N1.7 billion, depending on the month. Of this amount, N558, 200,000 was for the monthly general administration of the Chief of Army Staff.As the Director of Accounts, I would instruct the finance officer at the headquarters of NAF camp, Abuja and after the money is changed, I would take it to Air Chief Marshall Alex Badeh at his official resident in Niger Barracks.
As military officers, we don’t request for any agreement. However, in some case, I told the finance officers to meet me at the Air House in Niger Barracks with the money so that he can see when I handed over the money to Badeh.The instruction for conversion is not in writing. The Chief of Air Staff does give many instructions that are not in writing. The only instructions that were in writing were those requests forwarding instructions from branches and units for approval. When the approvals are given, they are forwarded to my office for necessary payment action.
Sometimes in January 2013, the then Chief of Air Staff, asked me to get him a good house in Maitama, where he wants to retire in. I have a friend who was into property, Hussein Umar and I contacted him. Umar said the house he got was N1.1 billion and I told Air Chief Marshal Badeh, which he agreed to pay.
According to Yishau, Badeh got another duplex at No. 19 Kumasi Crescent, Wuse II, Abuja for his first son, Alex Badeh (Jnr), for N260million, used N60 million to renovate it and another N90 million to furnish it.
Badeh also bought a commercial plot of land at Plot 1386, Oda Crescent Cadastral Zone A07, Wuse II, Abuja for N650 million and paid N878 million for the construction of a shopping mall at same address and another N304 million to complete the plaza.
Yishau told the court that Badeh paid N330 million to Honourable Bature for a duplex at No. 14 Adzope Crescent, Off Kumasi Crescent, Wuse II, Abuja and also paid N240 million to Rabiu Isyaku Rabiu to buy a semi-detached duplex at No. 8A, Embu Street, by Sigma Apartment, Wuse II, Abuja, for another of his son, Kam. He said the property at No. 2 Nelson Mandela Street Asokoro, Abuja was renovated with N62 million.
While the witness spoke, Badeh was seen writing intermittently on a plain sheet.
Recall Badeh was arraigned alongside a firm, Iyalikam Nigeria Limited on March 7 on a 10-count charge of breach of trust and corruption for allegedly diverting about N3.97 billion from NAF’s account.
The case was adjourned till March 23.