Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Badeh converted N558 million for personal use, monthly – Witness

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As the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) commences parading witnesses against retired chief of defence staff, one of the witnessed has narrated how Badeh, was converting up to N558 million of the air force fund to personal use, monthly.

Salisu Abdullahi, a retired commodore and former director of Finance and Administration of the Nigerian Air Force, during Badeh’s reign as the air force chief, gave the evidence Wednesdy before Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court, Abuja.

He said Badeh usually instructed him to convert N558m to dollars and bring to his house.

The amount, according to the witness, represented the leftover of funds meant for the monthly payment of staff salaries.

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Abdullahi, however said that the instruction to convert the money to dollar was given to him verbally as it is custom in the military.

“We receive about N4bn monthly for the payment of salaries. Our total wage bill, when I was finance director, was above N2bn,” he explained.

“The balance of the money for personnel emolument was about N1.7bn‎. The sum of N558m was earmarked for the general administration of the chief of staff’s office monthly. The balance is proposed for disbursement to the units.

“‎In most cases the chief of air staff directs that the amount be exchange into US dollars and taken to the headquarters Nigeria air force camp‎. When this money is exchanged it is brought to me, and I take this money to the chief air staff at home- his official residence at Niger Barracks.

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“As military officers we don’t request for any acknowledgment. In some cases, I do tell the finance officer to meet me at air house at Niger barracks with the money so that he can see when I hand over the money to the chief of air staff.

“The instruction to convert the money to dollar was not in writing. The chief of air gives many instructions that are not in writing. The instructions in writing are those requests forwarded to his office from the branches.

‎ “When I came I met N120m earmarked for the office of the director of finance. It was part of the balance of personal emolument released monthly. But I rejected it. I asked that the money place under the control of the chief of staff for tours and visits, and other sundry issues.”

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