Nigeria: How Ex-Air Force Chief Badeh Converted Stolen N558 Million Monthly to U.S. Dollars – Witness

00301475-4f91afeb4070aca4e067593b9ba17084-arc614x376-w614-us1By Evelyn Okakwu, Premium Times
A former director of finance and account for the Nigerian Air Force has narrated how former Chief of Air Staff, Alex Badeh, authorised his aide each month to convert over N558 million stolen government money to United States Dollars.

Salisu Abdullahi, a retired Air Commodore and former director of finance and account, told a court that the man who converted the money monthly was brought in solely for that purpose.Mr. Badeh is facing trial at the Federal High Court, Abuja, on allegations of fraud.

Mr. Abdullahi, who is a witness, had told the court during his examination that Mr. Badeh personally received over N558 million monthly.

The money was balance after payment of monthly salaries to Air Force personnel.

“Out of the balance of N1.6 to N1.7 billion, the sum of N558 million was taken to Mr. Badeh’s personal residence at Niger Barracks after it is exchanged to dollar,” Mr. Abdullahi stated.

Mr. Abdullahi further stated during cross-examination that the officer in charge of the said conversion of Nigerian currency into US dollars for Mr. Badeh, identified simply as Group Captain Sini, was ordered to be brought to his (Mr. Abdullahi’s) office where Mr. Sini’s main responsibility was to convert the said sum, on a monthly basis.

The dollars were handed over Mr. Abdullahi who took it to his principal.

Mr. Abdullahi said the Deputy Director of Finance at the NAF Head Quarters was directly responsible for distribution of funds. He said merely made inputs.

“I was in charge of the Finances of the entire NAF, not my own office,” Mr. Abdullahi stated during cross examination.

Mr. Abdullahi had stated during his cross-examination that Mr. Badeh received the controversial monthly sum of N558 million without accounting for same.

According to Mr. Abdullahi, Mr. Badeh never confirmed in writing, the receipt of the controversial sum of N558 million which was taken to his (Mr. Badeh’s) residence personally by Mr. Abdullahi.

“The only instruction he gives in writing are those requests forwarded in writing from branches and units for approval”, he stated.

He also gave a list of landed properties allegedly bought by the fomer Chief of Air staff with funds alleged to have been fraudulently diverted while he was head of the NAF.

The case was adjourned till April 19 for continuation of trial.

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