Badeh’s agent asked me to buy property in my company’s name’

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An EFCC witness Mustapha Yarima in the ongoing trial of Former Chief of defence staff Alex Badeh yesterday told the Federal High Court,Abuja that the former Director of Finance and account of the Nigerian Air force Air Commodore Abdullahi Yushau(rtd) instructed him to buy Abuja property in his company’s name(Right Builders).

Yarima who spoke during cross examination on Tuesday told the court that Yushau gave him N650million to pay for plot 1386 in Wuse II,Abuja.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is prosecuting Badeh, alongside a firm, Iyalikam Nigeria Limited on a10-count charge of money laundering bordering on alleged fraudulent removal of about N3.97 billion from the Nigerian Air Force’s account.
The anti-graft agency accused Badeh of using the fund to buy and develop landed assets in Abuja for himself and two sons between January and December 2013.
Yarima, a building contractor and Managing Director of Right Builders told the court in evidence in chief that he bought the land on the instruction of PW1 adding that he signed all the documents on behalf of that Rite builders until he would give him the real name of purchaser.
Yarima maintained that Yushau had told him that he was acting on behalf of his boss, then Chief of Air Staff, Badeh.
Yerima who was cross examined by the defence counsel Chief Akin Olujimi (SAN) he confronted him with his statements in EFCC pointing out that nowhere did he mentioned that Yushau told him he was acting on the instruction of Badeh, the witness said what he wrote at the EFCC was a summary of what transpired.
The witness said:”I don’t think I was able to write everything that happened between that three years and the EFCC reasoned with one when I told them I cannot remember every incident that happened within those three years”.
The witness further stated that while he was writing his first statement at EFCC he had documents with him unlike when he was testifying in the court.
Yarima also told the court that the reason he did not state those things he gave in his evidence was because he was not asked those questions. He said the more the defence counsel asks him the more he remembers.
On why he did not include in his five statements that prior to the commencement of the project he held a meeting with Yushau where he was told the plaza belongs to Badeh, Yerima said, “Maybe it skipped”.
Yarima further added:”In my statement on the 6th of January, 2016, when agreement were reached to start the construction of the complex I was paid a total of N864,582, 832.04 from the Nigerian Air Force accounts into my Zenith Bank account. In that list of payment N9,220,100 was paid on 29th of January 2013 when the construction was yet to start”
He explained that the payment were part of the pre-construction expenses, adding that this was from where the payment to Saka was made.
Justice Okong Abang adjourned the matter till today for continuation of cross examination.

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