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‘Badeh asked me to claim N1.8b property’ - Nigeria News - Talk Africana

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‘Badeh asked me to claim N1.8b property’ by AndrewO: 8:1 pm On 7 Jul 2016
‘Badeh asked me to claim N1.8b
by Eric Ikhilae And Somina Amachree, Abuja,
May 25, 2016 at 12:07 am in Featured , News
•Ex-Chief of Defence Staff, others wanted him
to claim ownership of asset
Crosecution witness in the trial of former
Chief of Defence Staff Alex Badeh gave
details yesterday on how he failed in his
attempt to conceal the ownership of a
shopping mall worth N1.8 billion he built for
the ex-defence chief in Abuja.
The witness, Mustapha Yerima, a building
contractor and managing director of a property
firm, Right Builders Technologies Limited, told
a Federal High Court in Abuja that Badeh and
some others asked him to claim ownership of
the property to conceal its true ownership
from investigators.
Yerima, who testified as the fourth
prosecution witness in the trial of Badeh and
a firm, Iyalikam Nigeria Limited, said he failed
in his effort to conceal the ownership of the
property when operatives of the Economic and
Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)
confronted him with actual documents relating
to the true ownership of the property.
Badeh is being tried on 10-count with Iyalikam
for money laundering and diversion of public
funds estimated at about N3.97 billion.
Led in evidence by prosecution lawyer, Rotimi
Jacobs, Yerima, who opened his testimony on
Monday, concluded his evidence-in-chief
The witness had, on the previous day, gave
evidence concerning how he was recruited by
Badeh, through a former Director of Finance
and Account of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF),
retired Air Commodore Aliyu Yishau, to
construct the shopping mall on Aminu Kanu
Crescent, Wuse 2, Abuja.
Yerima said: “We continued our work after the
payment from the third parties until one
fateful morning. One of my site supervisors
called me that EFCC operatives were looking
for me. So, immediately, I drove down to the
“He asked me, if the property belonged to
Dasuki. I told them I had neither seen Dasuki
nor met him. So, I was asked to report at their
office by 3pm. Before I got to their office, I
called Air Commodore Yishau, to tell him what
has happened.
“So, he said since he had handed over the
project to the original owner and that Alex
(Jnr.) was the one coordinating, I should call
him and explain to him. I then called him and
told him that I wanted him to link me up with
his father so that I could explain what was
happening. But he told me his father was not
around. But he said I should call Air
Commodore Yishau back.
“After I spoke with Alex Badeh Jnr., it took
some time for him to get back. When he
eventually got back to me, he said they had
discussed. But that I should call back Air
Commodore Yishau, who would then tell me
what to tell EFCC operatives.
“Yishau called me and told me that since my
company was into property development, that
I should claim it. He said so because I think
he was scared.
“It was at that point, this same Timothy Muje,
a lawyer, called me that we should meet
somewhere around Wuse 2. We met there and
he handed over those same documents I gave
them earlier.
“He deliberately refused to give me the power
of attorney, the deed of assignment, between
Right Builders and this other company, whose
name I cannot remember, because the whole
idea was for me to claim the property as they
agreed between them.
“I want to believe it was the agreement
between Yishau, Alex Badeh Jnr, Air Chief
Marshal Alex Badeh and the lawyer, Timothy
Muje, that I should claim the property.
“What Barrister Timothy told me was that they
had reached an agreement that I should
please protect them. But when I got to EFCC,
it was a different ball game because I was
confronted with some chilling evidence.
“I was confronted with so many documents
such as copies of drawings, statement of
accounts and so many other documents
relating to that project, including e-mail
“At that point, I had no other choice than to
tell EFCC exactly the way things were – just
the way I narrated my testimony, everything
that transpired.
“The approximate cost of the shopping mall
was about N1.8 billion inclusive of the cost of
the land. Since the EFCC operatives visited
the site, they told us to stay off, since it was
under investigation,” Yerima said.
The witness told the court that when Yishau,
who was acting as the go-between in his
relationship with Badeh, retired, Badeh’s son
took over the role.
Yerima said Badeh’s son – Alex Badeh (Jnr)
– later authorised a third party, a company
identified as Viteva, to make payment of
N108 million into Right Builder’s account as
part of the payment for the construction of
the mall.
“The payment that came through the third
party was as a result of the meeting between
myself, Air Commodore Yishau and Alex
Badeh Jnr.
“Prior to this meeting, there was a meeting
that held between me and Air Commodore
Yishau where he introduced Barrister Timothy
Muje to me as the lawyer to Air Chief Marshal
Badeh and that since he (Yishau) was retiring,
I should transfer all necessary documents to
the lawyer in the person of Barrister Timothy
Muje, who was representing Air Chief Marshal
“He (Yishau) came with a prepared Deed of
Assignment and Power of Attorney, with my
company’s name and one other company for
the transferring of the title from Right
Builders, which is my company, to the other
company. He gave me copies to sign and I
“I remember in that meeting I also met one
Barrister Umar, who also came for the
transfer of similar documents. I signed those
documents and handed over the remaining
documents in my possession to Barrister
Timothy Muje.
“I mentioned earlier in my previous testimony,
that the day the transaction was concluded, I
only handed over the original Certificate of
Occupancy to Air Commodore Yishau.
“This time around, I handed over the deed of
assignment, the power of attorney between
Ayodele Fayose and Tony to him. I also
handed over to him, other documents,
including the power of attorney between
Cassagro and Right Builders.
“He gave me the power of attorney and the
deed of assignment which he (Barrister
Timothy Muje) came with which were already
prepared in the name of the company, I
cannot remember the name, but which was
between that company and Right Builders. I
signed it and gave it back to Barrister Timothy
and then I left.
“The total money that I received from the
third party was about N108 million. It was paid
into my company’s account. Immediately I
received an alert from Vetiva Nigeria Limited, I
quickly called Alex Badeh (Jnr.) to confirm.
“He confirmed to me that they (he and his
father) gave instruction to Vetiva to make the
payment on their behalf. There are two other
companies that also made deposits into my
company’s account, which Alex Jnr confirmed
to me that they made those deposits on
behalf of them.
“Those two companies were Macden
Communications Limited and Chimeize
Puintes,” Yerima said as he ended his
When asked to cross-examine the witness,
defence lawyers, Akin Olujinmi (SAN) and
Samuel Ologunorisa (SAN) asked for time to
enable them study Yerima’s statements, which
they said were served on them yesterday.
Trial judge Justice Okon Abang adjourned to
June 14 for Yerima’s cross-examination.

Re: ‘Badeh asked me to claim N1.8b property’ by lordryse: 7:1 am On 7 Jul 2016
That's serious.


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