Trial of former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, continued yesterday with further cross examination of the prosecution witness, Air Commodore Salisu Abdullahi Yushau.
At the resumed hearing, the defence counsel, Chief Akin Olujimi (SAN) subjected the witness to further cross examination during which he admitted that most of the statements he made as evidence in court were not contained in his earlier statement with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
The witness had made only five distinct statements with the EFCC and when asked by the defence counsel the reason he left out substantial part of the evidence when he made the statement, he said that his answers were only based on the questions he was asked at the EFCC.
“You made substantive addition in your evidence in chief compared to your statement with the EFCC,” Olujimi put to the witness.
In his response, the witness told the court that what he said in evidence was within his knowledge when he made his statement with the EFCC. In addition, all I said in the EFCC was to address specific questions.”
From further cross examination, it was disclosed by the defence counsel that the witness had earlier told the EFCC in his February 4 statement that the money for the development of the shopping complex was paid in dollars at once.
But the witness admitted it was an error.
“I cannot remember saying ‘once’ but if I said so, it was an error,” the witness said.
Also, when taken on what transpired between him and one Architect Saka, he said that based on the directive of his boss, he had engaged Saka who drew plan for the shopping complex.
And when asked if he was the one who paid Saka for the drawing, he said the man was not paid but when cross examined further, he disclosed that since the job was given to Engineer Mustapha Yerima, the managing director of Ryte Builders, the construction company that handled the shopping complex, he made him to give “something to Saka.
“After the construction job was given to Engineer Yerima on the instruction of my boss, I called him to give Saka something since the job was not given to him, and I was told he gave him N10 million,” the witness said.
On the balance payment for the land acquired for the shopping complex, the witness admitted instructing the Command Finance Officer, CFO, to pay the balance. He however insisted that he never instructed that the money be transferred in naira to Ryte Builders Limited account.
“I was aware that N558 million was in NAF account when I instructed the CFO to pay after he was supposed to change it to dollars. Instead, he transferred the money in naira into the account of Ryte Builders. I did not ask him to transfer the balance in naira,” the witness said.
Going further, the defence counsel queried: “Will it surprise you that the evidence you gave was different? What you told the court with regards to the payment for the construction was different from the evidence you gave.
“From your evidence, you instructed Group Captain Sinni, the then Command Finance Officer, to pay the balance of the payment for the land to Yerima from the money you take to your boss every month; but later when you visited EFCC, you said Captain Sinni paid in dollars,” Olujimi stated.
In his response, the witness admitted that he did tell EFCC that Captain Sinni paid the money in dollars but that he had already made his statement before realising that it was transferred from NAF account.
“That statement was given before I knew that my CFO transferred the money in naira instead of paying him in dollars.”
On whether he expected the balance to be paid in dollar, Yushau responded that “…I did not ask him to transfer the balance of N558 million from Nigerian Air Force account to that of Ryte Builders Limited.”
On the property at No. 6, Ogun River Street, Maitama, Abuja, the witness admitted knowing one Barrister Hussein Umar who on the instruction of his boss, Badeh, was used to buy the property.
He disclosed further that when the property was found, he went to inspect it in the company of Hussain and Badeh before it was purchased.
But when asked if he included such in his statement with the EFCC, he said “no.”
However, the defence counsel still exposed that the witness never asserted in his previous statement to EFCC that went with Badeh.
He also put it to the witness that all he said in evidence in the court were not stated in his statement with EFCC, to which he affirmed.
The case was adjourned to11.30am on Wednesday at the instant of the court.

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