Useni Umar, an Estate Survey Manager and third prosecution witness in the ongoing trial of a former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Alex Badeh, on Wednesday told the court that the former Chief of Air Staff paid $6.2 million in two tranches for the purchase of a property in abuja.
Umar, a lawyer, said the property is located at 6, Ogun River Close, Maitama, Abuja.
He told the court: “Badeh instructed that the sum of $6.2 million be released in two tranches within the period of two weeks for the purchase of the property located at No. 6, Ogun River Close, Maitama, Abuja after we carried out a joint inspection on the property and he was satisfied.”
Umar told Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja that after he got an instruction from Air Commodore Salisu Abdullahi Yushau to get a beautiful edifice for a retiring home for Badeh, he inspected four properties alongside Yushau.
Umar, who was led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacob (SAN), said: “When I got the instruction from Yushau, the first inspection was carried out between myself and Yushau.
“The second inspection was carried out between myself, Badeh and Yushau, while the third and fourth inspection was a joint inspection between myself, Badeh, his wife, son, by name Sam, and Badeh’s daughter.
“It was after the joint inspection of the property that Badeh, having been satisfied with the property at No. 6, Ogun River instructed that the sum of $6.2 milion be paid in two tranches for the property.”
Under cross examination by the defence counsel, Chief Akin Olujimi (SAN), the witness said he did not state in his statement at the EFCC that they inspected four properties before Yushau picked the one on Ogun River Close because he was giving a summary of his statement to the EFCC.
On whether he was aware that Yushau had told the court in his testimony that they inspected only three properties, the witness said he was telling the court what he knew about the transaction and not what Yushau told the court.
Umar said: “I do not know that Yushau told the court that we inspected three properties.
“What I know is that we inspected four.
“The 1st inspection that we carried out was between myself and Yushau
“I told the court what happened, my own side of the story.
“It was after the fourth joint inspection and all of them were happy with the property that Yushau gave me the go ahead to negotiate with the property owners.
“However that aspect that all of them were happy with the property was not included in my statement but the issue of approval and negotiation is there in my statement.
“It was Yushau that gave me the go ahead to negotiate with the owners of the property.”
Olujimi thereafter prayed the court for a one day adjournment to enable him get the required materials for proper cross examination.
The EFCC accused Badeh of using the money he was accused of misappropriating to buy and develop landed assets in Abuja for himself and two sons between January and December 2013.
Badeh served as the Chief of Air Staff and later became the Chief of Defence Staff till he retired from the military last year.