‘Diversion of N558.2m started before Badeh’ – Witness

[su_dropcap size=”4"]A[/[/su_dropcap]ormer Director of Finance and Account of the Nigerian Air Force, Air Commodore Aliyu Yishau (retd.), told a Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday that a former Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh (retd.), inherited the tradition of diverting N558,200,000 from NAF’s account monthly from his predecessors.

Badeh served as the Chief of Air Staff between October 4, 2012 and January 16, 2014, and later served as the Chief of Defence Staff between January 16, 2014 and July 13, 2015, when he retired from the military.

Yishau, who is the first prosecution witness in Badeh’s trial for money laundering charges, said Badeh’s predecessor, Air Chief Marshal Mohammed Umar (retd.), also benefitted from the monthly diversion of N558.2m from NAF’s account.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s witness, who served as Director of Finance and Account of NAF under the two regimes of Umar and Badeh as the Chiefs of Air Staff, made the disclosure while being cross-examined by Badeh’s lawyer, Chief Akin Olujinmi (SAN).

Yishau, who had in his evidence-in-chief, narrated how he helped Badeh to divert the sum of N558.2m monthly and used part of the funds to acquire landed assets in many parts of Abuja, however, said he would not know how the funds were used under the administrations preceding Umar’s.

Yishau said, “N558,200,000 was usually set aside from NAF headquarters at Mogadishu Barracks. He (Umar) was aware of it and he controlled the expenditure from the balance of N558,200,000.

“The practice of setting aside N558, 200,000 had been there before I became the Director of Finance and Account of the Nigerian Air Force. I do not know how the previous administrations before Air Chief Marshal Umar were using the money.”

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