Salisu Abdullahi, a retired air commodore and former director of finance of the Nigeria air force, on Wednesday said Alex Badeh, instructed him to buy houses for two of his sons in an highbrow area of Abuja, while he was chief of air staff.
Abdullahi, a prosecution witness in the trial of Badeh, told Justice Okon Abang of the federal high court, Abuja, that the former defence chief instructed him to look for choice property for his first son, Alex Badeh jr, because he wanted him to own a house.
The witness claimed that Badeh bought a house at Wuse 2 at N260m for his first son, renovated it with N60m and furnished it with N90m. He also said that when Badeh’s second son turned down a house worth N340m, a second house had to be bought for N330m.
“My chief also told me he wanted his second son, Kam, to own a house. The name of the owner of house is Isiaka Rabiu,” he narrated to the court.
“I told him the price of the house was about N340m. He directed me to pay. I paid the dollar equivalent of the money to Rabiu. The money was from the normal amount I take to my chief monthly.
“When Kam saw the house, he didn’t like it. When my chief saw it, he said we should look for another one.
“One evening, I was sitting in my house. One Honourable Bature called and requested me to see him. He was then living at Kumasi crescent at Wuse 2. When I saw him, he told me he wanted to sell his house. He was building another house somewhere.
“He requested me to find someone who can buy the house. I told my chief and he said he wouldn’t like Honourable Bature to know that he was the one buying.
“I told him we could use Barrister Useni Umar. I told Useni that my chief would like to buy a house, but he wouldn’t want the buyer to know he is the one buying.
“I took Useni to Honourable Bature as an agent. After two days, the barrister told me he had concluded negotiation with Bature and that he had agreed to sell the house for N330m.
“My chief directed that I should pay for the house. I took the equivalent of N330m in dollars, which was deducted from his (Badeh’s) own money, and effected the payment.
“I collected the title documents for the house and handed them over to my chief.”
The same witness, Salisu Abdullahi, told the court that while he served as director of finance and account of the Nigeria Air Force from October 2010 to December 2013, Badeh every month instructed him to convert N558 million from the Airforce monthly salary, into dollars and then take it to his home.
According to TheCable, Salisu said the monthly salary for the Airforce at the time was N4 billion with N558 million earmarked for the general administration of the chief of staff’s office monthly.
“We receive about N4bn monthly for the payment of salaries. Our total wage bill, when I was finance director, was above N2bn. The balance of the money for personnel emolument was about N1.7bn. The sum of N558m was earmarked for the general administration of the chief of staff’s office monthly. The balance is proposed for disbursement to the units. In most cases the chief of air staff directs that the amount be exchange into US dollars and taken to the headquarters Nigeria air force camp. When this money is exchanged it is brought to me, and I take this money to the chief air staff at home- his official residence at Niger Barracks.
As military officers we don’t request for any acknowledgment. In some cases, I do tell the finance officer to meet me at air house at Niger barracks with the money so that he can see when I hand over the money to the chief of air staff. The instruction to convert the money to dollar was not in writing. The chief of air gives many instructions that are not in writing. The instructions in writing are those requests forwarded to his office from the branches. When I came I met N120m earmarked for the office of the director of finance.
It was part of the balance of personal emolument released monthly. But I rejected it. I asked that the money place under the control of the chief of staff for tours and visits, and other sundry issues.”he said