Umar denies receiving N15m from Badeh
Trial of former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, continued yesterday at the Federal High Court, Abuja, with the examination and cross-examination of the prosecution witness, Mr. Hussein Umar.
Umar, who is the third prosecution witness in the trial, denied ever receiving the sum of N15 million as compensation from Badeh, adding that he was neither promised nor offered the said sum of money by Badeh.
The witness, who was speaking under cross-examination by the defence counsel, Chief Akin Olujimi (SAN), said he was surprised to learn from the defence counsel that the first prosecution witness, Air Commodore Salisu Abdullahi Yushau, had earlier testified that he (Umar) received N15 million as compensation from Badeh.
“I do not know why he should tell the court that I was given N15 million, the witness said.
But the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, while re-examining the witness, asked him to explain the reasons he had denied ever being promised N15 million whereas, he had earlier admitted in his evidence before the court that Badeh promised him the said amount as appreciation.
In one breath, he said there was a promise and in another breath, he said there was no promise.
But Olujimi objected to the question asked by Jacobs by way of re-examination, saying the question he asked the witness was clear and unambiguous
He, therefore, asked the court to dismiss the question raised by Jacobs.
Justice Okon Abang, in a short ruling however held that the law was settled that re-examination should be limited to issues raised during cross-examination.
He added that the witness unequivocally said that Badeh did not promise him N15 million.
“I have also listened dispassionately to all the argument and the answer by the witness is clear. There is no ambiguity here. To allow the witness answer the question of the prosecution will amount to making fresh evidence by the witness.
“The objection of the defence counsel to the question put before the witness by the prosecution is sustained”, Abang ruled.
Also, during cross-examination by counsel to the second defendant (Iyalikam Nigeria Limited), Sam Ologun-Orisa (SAN), the witness told the court that the documents for the purchase of property at No 6, Ogun River Street and No 14, Adzoke Crescent, which he handed over to Mr. Timothy, were not signed by Badeh and the second defendant.
Similarly, Umar was taken by the counsel that he had in his evidence in-chief stated that he handed the documents over to Yushau who in turn handed same over to the first defendant but that in his statement to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), he had said that the documents were handed over to Yushau at a meeting with him.
Olujimi further reminded the witness that he had testified that early this year, Alex Junior called to say that he wanted to see him but later came to his house in Gwarimpa, yet he did not tell the EFCC about the calls.
The witness answered that he only gave summary of his own side of the story.
The defence counsel then wondered if the two phone calls were two large for the summary of his statement before the EFCC.
He consequently put it to him that the two alleged phone calls were mere after thoughts and that they never happened.
The case has been adjourned till May 23 for continuation of trial.
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