The trial of a former Chief of Defence Staff, Alex Badeh, continued on May 23, 2016 before Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court sitting in Maitama, Abuja, with a prosecution witness, Mustapha Yerima, telling the court that Badeh paid him N1.3billion to construct a building at Aminu Kano Crescent, Wuse 2, Abuja.
Yerima, the Managing Director of Ryte Builders Nigeria Limited, testifying as the fourth prosecution witness, was led in evidence by counsel to EFCC, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN.
He informed the court that apart from building the edifice, he also helped purchase the land from one Tony through Kassagrove Ltd with N650 million.
He told the court that Air Commodore Salisu Abdullahi Yushua asked “my company to negotiate on a land at Aminu Kano Crescent, Wuse 2, owned by one Fayose Ayodele who then sold to one Tony”.
“We met with Tony who directed us to Kassagrove Ltd and after deliberations named their price in the sum of N650m but to be paid in dollar equivalent,” he said.
According to him, “After purchasing the land, I asked Yushua in whose name the project would be executed and he responded that it should be executed in the name of our company
Ryte Builders Nig Ltd, which will later be transferred to another company’s name after he had discussed with his boss.”
He explained further that: “We gave him an estimate of N1.3billion, but Yushua complained that it was on the high side and we later gave him estimate of N1.2 billion.”
Giving details of the transactions, Yerima noted that: “We told him to prepare a milestone payment. The first stage was N480 million, which he paid the dollar equivalent, after which construction started.”
He further stated that Yushua called a meeting, where he informed them that payment will come from the Nigeria Air Force, after which he was introduced to the new Camp Financial Officer, Group Captain M. L. Simi.
Testifying further, he said, “We were later paid N860m-N880m and when we were about to exhaust the money paid at that time, we realized that there were a couple of things not part of the bill, we raised the alarm and informed Yushua.
“We then met with Badeh at Defence House and explained to him that two main lift and one service lift was omitted which amounts to N97 million for the three lifts.
“We further gave him an additional bill for flunctuation of price and other dues in the sum of N54 million.”
Justice Abang has adjourned to May 24, 2016 for continuation of trial.