A prosecution witness in the alleged N1.4 billion fraud case involving former Chief of Defence Staff, Alex Badeh, on Thursday staged another drama while testifying on how the accused gave his company N100 million to build churches and a mosque in his village in Adamawa State.
The anti-graft agency is prosecuting Badeh on alleged abused of office as CDS by purchasing properties in choice areas of Abuja between January and December, 2013 with N1.4 billion belonging to the accounts of the Nigerian Air Force.
The offence contravenes Section 15 (2) (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended) and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.
The witness, Joseph Okpetu, who continued his testimony before the Federal High Court Abuja, presided over by Justice Okon Abang as PW13, was led in evidence by counsel to the EFCC, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN.
Okpetu in his witnessing said, “I constructed a village house for the first defendant, Alex Badeh, between 2008 and 2012. The fixings, features and painting were done in 2012. We also built a mosque opposite the house.
“After the construction of the house, a thanksgiving service was held. We (Havco Nigeria Limited) renovated the church where the thanksgiving took place. My company was also given the responsibility to provide tables and chairs for the thanksgiving.”
Renovation of the church for the thanksgiving he said gulped about N8million.
“Apart from the village house, we built a mosque, two churches and a civic centre for skills acquisition in Vintim Village. All these cost N100 million. I was paid in three installments of N40 million, N30 million and N30 million.”
Among other things, Okpetu narrated how his firm collected N14 million for building a house for the officer-in-charge of the Joint Armed Forces in Mubi, Adamawa State, how he imported materials, plants and equipment for Badeh’s Kantiye Farm in Nasarawa State.
However, Okpetu as happened in his testimony on Tuesday started another drama, when he was cross-examined by defence counsel, Akin Olujimi.
He said in response to a question by Mr. Olujimi, that he was not stable psychologically when he made his statement at the EFCC.
The response led Mr. Jacobs jumping to his feet, exclaiming while pointing to the defence, “I know that the witness is your own.”
The matter was at that point adjourned to January 25 and 26, for continuation of trial.
In his first drama on Tuesday, Okpetu had while answering questions put to him by Jacobs who noticed he was contradicting himself in his witness said, “I do not stand by my statement to the EFCC… On the first day that I was arrested by the EFCC, Zibiri, came to bail me. Like me, he is from Edo State. We are family friends.”
Samuel Zibiri (SAN), who Okpetu referred to as his close family friend, was holding brief for S. T. Ologoorisha, counsel to the second defendant (Iyalikam).
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