Friday, May 20

Alleged N3.9bn fraud: Badeh gave me an appreciation gift of N15m — Witness tells Court

Alleged N3.9bn fraud: Badeh gave me an appreciation gift of N15m — Witness tells Court

The third prosecuting witness in the ongoing trial of the former Chief of Defence Staff, Alex Badeh, Useni Umar yesterday told a Federal High Court in Abuja how the former military chief gave him a N15 million cash gift as an appreciation.

Umar, an estate surveyor who is also a legal practitioner, explained that Badeh gave him the money in appreciation for assisting him purchase two choice properties which he said was located at 6 Ogun-River Street, Maitama and 14 Adzope Crescent, off Kumasi Crescent, Wuse II, both in Abuja.

He told the court that the property at Ogun-River Street was purchased by Badeh for N260m, while that of 14 Adzope Crescent was purchased by the defendant from one Hon. Bature at the sum of N330m.

Umar alleged that Badeh gave him the money through the former Director of Finance and Accounts at the Nigerian Air Force, NAF, Commodore Abdullahi Yushau (retd) who had also testified against the former military Chief in the ongoing trial.

He added that while Yushau was handing the money to him, he said it “was an appreciation from the Chief”.

The estate survivor, during cross-examination from Badeh’s lawyer, Chief Akin Olujimi, SAN, stressed that Badeh paid for the house through Yushau, adding that the money was brought to him in installments.

He said, “It was the Yushau that asked me to conduct a search on the property. He was also the person that brought money to me for the purchase. He paid me the purchase money instrumentally within seven and ten days.

 He paid the money three times. I collected all the title documents, we went to the defendant’s house, then I gave the documents to the Yushau who in my presence, handed it to the defendant.

“I went to the Air House which was the then official residence of the defendant with the PW-1. When we got there, we met the defendant with a man who he introduced to us as his childhood friend.

“However, I did not put all these in my statement at the EFCC. I only gave a summary statement of my own part of the story. At that time, I wouldn’t have recollected everything that happened. I am a human being and can make mistakes. In making my statement, I was concerned with my role on the two properties vis-a-vis the instructions from the defendant. It was Yushua that gave me instruction to look for the house on behalf of his boss.”

Umar further claimed that Badeh instructed that title deeds for the two properties be registered in the name of a company, Yalikam Nigeria Limited.

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