Witness Says He Has No Record of Financial Transactions with Badeh

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Alex Enumah in Abuja
A witness of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in the ongoing trial of former Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Air Chief Marshall Alex Badeh (rtd), has told Justice Okon Abang of a Federal High Court in Abuja that he did not keep any personal record to prove all the cash transactions made between him and Badeh.

The witness, a former Director of Finance, Nigerian Air Force, Air Commodore Abdullahi Yushau, disclosed this on Tuesday during cross examination by the defence counsel, Chief Akin Olujimi (SAN).

Yushau, while admitting that he was the Head of the Directorate of Finance, however, told the court that the command’s finance officer whose duty was to keep record has all the records of the amount of the dollar equivalent he handed to Badeh at his official residence on monthly basis and other transactions.

Badeh, alongside his firm, Iyalikam Nigeria Limited, is being prosecuted by the EFCC, on a 10-count charge of money laundering bordering on alleged fraudulent removal of about N3.97billion from NAF’s account.

The anti-graft agency accused Badeh of using the fund to buy and develop landed property in Abuja for himself and his two sons between January and December 2013.
He however pleaded not guilty to the charges.

At the resumed hearing yesterday, the witness told the court during cross examination that he could not remember the exact amount of money he gave to Badeh during the course of their transaction.
“I cannot remember the exact amount of dollar equivalent that I gave to Badeh in November 2012 and other cash transactions we had because it was not my duty to keep records.
“All the records of the cash transaction are there in the NAF command finance account office. My command finance officer wrote a statement at the EFCC and I am sure the records are there in his statement,” Yushua said.

 He also maintained that the sum of N90miliion was used for the purpose of furnishing a property belonging to Badeh junior, adding that he did not include it in the statement he made at the EFCC.
“The total sum of N90 million was used to purchased and furnisha property belonging to Badeh son.
“I did not include this in my statement because I was responding to the EFCC agents based on their line of questioning.

 “I still maintain the records of all these details with the NAF command finance account,” he said.
When asked on how monies were disbursed to the command, he said he did not know how the budget was being processed.

 He explained that: “When allocations were made to all NAF formations, the money is disbursed to all the formation and my deputy finance officer was in charge of our allocation.
“If there is any need for fund in our directorate, he writes to me and I approve, and then they go to the NFA headquarters to collect the money.
“It is the duty of the finance officer to render returns of all monies released to the unit on behalf of the directorate.

 “I was the accounting officer for the directorate that was why I approved every expenditure from our own allocation.”
The matter has been adjourned to April 19 for further cross examination and continuation of the trial.