N3.97b Suit: Badeh Contracted Me to Build Churches, Mosques, Witness Tells Court

N3.97b Suit: Badeh Contracted Me to Build Churches, Mosques, Witness Tells Court

Joseph Okpetu, a prosecution witness, on Thursday told the Federal High Court, Maitama, Abuja, presided over by Justice Okon Abang how his company, Havco Nigeria Limited, was paid N100 million to build churches, a mosque and a civic centre in Bintin, village of former Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh (rtd), in Adamawa State between 2008 and 2012.
Badeh is standing trial alongside a firm, Iyalikam Nigeria Limited, on a 10-count charge of money laundering, criminal breach of trust and corruption to the tune of N3.97billion.
He allegedly abused his office as CDS by using the dollar equivalent of the sum of N1.4 billion removed from the accounts of the Nigerian Air Force to purchase properties in choice areas of Abuja between January and December, 2013, contravening Section 15 (2)(d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended) and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.
Okpetu who continued his evidence as PW13, led in evidence by counsel to the Economic & Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Rotimi Jacobs, 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) renovated the church where the thanksgiving took place. My company was also given the responsibility to provide tables and chairs for the thanksgiving.”
According to him, between N5million to N8million was spent on renovation of the church used for the thanksgiving.
“Apart from the village house, we built a mosque, two churches and a civic centre for skills acquisition in Bintin Village. All these cost N100million. I was paid in three installments of N40million, N30million and N30million.”
Okpetu further narrated how his firm received N14million for building a house for the officer-in-charge of the Joint Armed Forces in Mubi, Adamawa State.
He also told the court that he imported materials, plants and equipment for Badeh’s Kantiye Farm in Nassarawa State.
Answering questions on his connection to Badeh’s company, Iyalikam Nigeria Limited, Okpetu said: “I do not know Iyalikam, but I was paid from Iyalikam Nigeria Limited the sum of N30million in 2015”.
When asked about the ownership structure of his company, Dilplast Nigeria Limited, the witness responded: “Before 2015, the share structure of my company, Dilplast Nigeria Limited, was four million shares to me, three million shares to Alex Badeh (Jnr) and three million shares to Kamtufa Badeh. Now, I own six million shares, while Kamtufa Badeh owns three million and Victoria Okpetu and Architect Dan Williams own 500,000 shares each.
Kamtufa, who according to Okpetu is Badeh’s son, contributed a house given to him by his father to Dilplast.
However, in a dramatic turn under cross-examination and given the witness’ previous performance in the stand on Tuesday, Okpetu’s testimony took yet another direction.
Responding to questions from Akin Olujimi, SAN, the PW13 said that he was not stable psychologically when he made his statement at the EFCC, a response which made Jacobs jump to his feet.
Jacob exclaimed and pointing to the defence, he said “I know that the witness is your own!”
At this point, the matter was adjourned to January 25 and 26, 2017 for continuation of trial.