Why I refused to claim ownership of Badeh’s property before EFCC, by witness
The testimony of Mustapha Yerima, the fourth prosecution witness in the on-going trial of former Chief of Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, continued yesterday at the Federal High Court, Abuja.
Yerima, Managing Director of Ryte Builders Technology Limited, told the court why he declined to claim ownership of the shopping mall located along Amino Kano Crescent, Abuja.
He told the court that Yushau had called him requesting that he claim ownership of the property since he was into estate development business.
According to him, he was later confronted with chilly evidence by the operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). This, he told the court, left him with no option than to state things the way they were in his statement with the EFCC.
He said: After the payment, we continued our work until one morning, one of my site’s supervisors called me that the EFCC operatives are looking for me. Immediately, I drove down to the site.
“They asked me if the property belongs to Dasuki. I told them I have neither seen Dasuki nor met him. So, I was asked to report in their office by 3:00 p.m.
“Before I got there, I called Yushau to tell him what has happened. He said that since he has handed over the project to the original owner, that Alex (Jnr) is the one co-ordinating and that I should call and explain to him.
“I did call Alex Badeh (Jnr) and he said he would get back to me. By that time, I wanted him to link me up with his father so I can explain what was happening but he told me his father was not around, that I should call Yushau.
“When we eventually got back to him, he said they have talked and that I should hook on to Yushau for directives of what to tell the EFCC operatives.
“Yushau called me and told me that since I was into estate development as a company, that I should claim it because he is scared.”
He added: “It was at that point that a lawyer, Timothy, called me that we should meet somewhere around Wuse 2. We met there and he handed over the sets of relevant documents I gave them earlier to me.
“He deliberately refused to give me documents relating to Ryte Builders Company because the whole idea is for me to claim the property as they agreed between Yushau, Timothy, Alex Badeh (Jnr) and Badeh.
“They said I should protect them but when I got to EFCC, it was a different matter altogether because I was confronted with some chilly evidences.”
Yerima, who also admitted receiving the sum of N108 million from the third party on the shopping mall, told the court that Nigerian Air Force (NAF) conference centre was constructed by Edile Nigeria Limited, which has three separate accounts with different signatories.
At this point, the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Jacobs, called the attention of the court to the fact that the witness had made an additional statement.
In his response, the defence counsel, Chief Akin Olujimi (SAN), said that for him to be able to cross-examine the witness, he would require to digest the additional statement.
“I will need to digest this additional statement to see how it affects or reshapes the proceedings”, he said.To this, there was no objection from the prosecution counsel. Justice Okon Abang, therefore, adjourned till June 14, 15 and 16 for continuation of trial.