Badeh: Prosecution Witness Contradicts Statements under Cross Examination

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Alex Enumah in Abujai
A prosecution witness, Air Commodore Abdullahi Yushau (rtd) for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in the trial of former Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Alex Badeh, and his company, Iyalikam Nigeria Limited,on Tuesday continued to contradict some of the statements he made before the commission.

At the resumed trial of Badeh before a Federal High Court yesterday, the defence team led by Chief Akinlolu Olujinmi concluded the cross examination of the witness.
EFCC had accused Badeh of alleged diversion of funds belonging to the Nigerian Air Force (NAF).

Badeh, alongside his firm, Iyalikam Nigeria Limited, is being prosecuted by the EFCC on a 10-count charge of money laundering and alleged fraudulent removal of about N3.97billion from NAF’s account.
The anti-graft agency accused the former CDS of using the funds to buy and develop landed assets in Abuja for himself and two of his sons between January and December 2013.

He however pleaded not guilty to the charges.
At the resumed trial, the prosecution witness who was being cross-examined by Olujinmi, continued to contradict his statement at the EFCC.
Yushau had in his statement at the EFCC said HAVCO Nigeria Limited constructed a house for Badeh in Yola, but denied knowing the company during cross-examination.

He also denied given instruction to either Air Commodore Sinni or Squadron Leader Abu to transfer the sum of N150 million to Joe’s company, Havco Nigeria Limited in respect of the said property.

Also, when confronted with the fact that in his evidence, he claimed to have completely forgotten to mention the house in Yola at the EFCC, Yushau however stated that nobody asked him about the property in Yola, but was reminded of the property when he met Joe at the EFCC.

The witness also denied instructing Sinni to make the said financial transactions in two installments for the construction of Badeh’s house in Yola.

“In your statement, you said HAVCO constructed Badeh’s house in Yola,” Olujmi reminded the witness.
But the witness noted that: “I said Joe constructed Badeh’s house. I only know Joe, not the name of his company. The name must have been given to my pay office for financial transaction but the only person I was introduced to was Joe.”

The witness disclosed that he used the statement made by one of his subordinate, Sinni, to get more facts about what happened in their office, adding that: “It is impossible to remember everything that happen in the Nigerian Air Force,” hence his reliance on such statement of subordinates.

During cross-examination by Sam Ologun-Orisa, counsel to the second defendant (Iyalikam), Yushau told the court that he never received any instruction from the Board of Iyalikam to acquire any property for it, adding that he did not, at any time receive or transfer money on behalf of Iyalikam, and that he was not given power of attorney to act on behalf of the company.

Yushau also admitted that he did not carry out any search about the company.
After the conclusion of the cross examination of the witness by the defence counsel, Tayo Olukotun, who held brief for lead prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), prayed the court for an adjournment to enable the prosecution prepare adequately for re-examination of the witness.

Justice Abang thereby adjourned the trial to today, for the prosecution to re-examine the witness, and also to call on further witnesses.