Court grants Badeh N2bn bail

Justice Okon Abang of the federal high court, Abuja, has granted Alex Badeh, former chief of defence staff, bail in the sum N2bn, and two sureties in the sum N1bn each.

According to the judge, the sureties must reside in Abuja.

Badeh is also required to deposit his international passport at the court.

While delivering his ruling, Abang held that the alleged offence is a bailable one, and that Badeh was presumed innocent until he otherwise proved.

However, he added that conditions of the bail were influenced by the weight of the charges.

Samuel Zibiri, counsel to Badeh, told the court that his client is a “perfect gentleman”, and that he had not “misconducted” himself anyway. He said that the EFCC had granted Badeh administrative bail on two occasions, but that he could not meet the bail conditions.

The counsel told the court that the former defence chief had no criminal record in his 35 years of service. He also argued that offence his client was alleged to have committed was a bailable one.

He, therefore, urged the court to grant the accused person bail on self-recognition just as Justice Anwuli Chikere of the federal high court, Abuja, did for Abba Moro, former minister of interior, who is facing criminal charges for allegedly scamming job seekers.

Making his submission, Rotimi Jacobs, counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), asked the court to refuse the bail request, and order an accelerated hearing of the case.

He argued that the evidence against the defendant was strong, revealing that from a property owned by Badeh, the EFCC discovered $1m in cash, hence “he might want to jump bail in order not face this shame”.

Abang had remanded Badeh, who was absent in court on Thursday, in prison pending the determination of his application for bail. He had also dismissed an earlier application for bail filed by Zibiri, on the grounds that it was incompetent.

Zibiri had filed the application on March 2, before the arraignment of his client. But the judge held that it was out of place to file an application for bail before the arraignment of an accused person.

He, thereafter, dismissed the application and asked the defence counsel to file a fresh one.

Zibiri had asked the court to remand Badeh in the custody of the EFCC, and not in prison. But the court did not grant his request.

Earlier on Monday, EFCC had arraigned Badeh before Abang.

The former chief of defence staff is facing a 10-count charge ‎of‎ criminal breach of trust and corruption to the tune of N3.9bn. He pleaded not guilty to the charges.

He is alleged to have used funds of the Nigeria air force to purchase choice property in Abuja. According to the EFCC, Badeh illegally used N60m to renovate his sons house, which he purchased for N260m in Abuja, between January and December 2013.

The former defence chief is also alleged to have used N878m -being funds of the air force- to build a shopping mall in Abuja.

Three ‎of the charges reads: “That you Air Chief Marshal Alex S Badeh (whilst being the chief of air staff, Nigerian air force) and Iyalikam Nigeria Limited, between January and December, 2013, in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this honourable ‎court, did use the dollar equivalent of the sum of N1, 100, 000, 000.00 (One billion, one hundred million naira only), removed from the accounts of the Nigeria air force, to purchase for yourselves a mansion situated at No 6 Ogun River street, off Danube street, Maitama, Abuja, when you reasonably ought to have known that the said funds formed part of proceed of unlawful activity (to wit: criminal breach of trust and corruption) of Air Chief Marshal Alex S Badeh, and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 15(2) (d) of the money laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended) and punishable under section 15(3) of the same Act‎.

“That you Air Chief Marshal Alex S Badeh (whilst being the Chief of Air Staff, Nigerian air force) and Iyalikam Nigeria Limited between January and December 2013, in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did use dollar equivalent of the sum of N650,000,000 (Six hundred and fifty million naira only), removed from the accounts of the Nigeria Air Force, to purchase for yourselves a commercial plot of land, situate at Plot 1386 Oda Crescent, Cadastral Zone A07, Wuse II, Abuja, when you reasonably ought to have known that the said funds formed part of the proceeds of unlawful activity (to wit: criminal breach of trust and corruption) of Air Chief Marshal Alex S Badeh and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 15(2)(d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended) and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.

“That you Air Chief Marshal Alex S. Badeh (whilst being the chief of air staff, Nigerian air force) and Iyalikan Nigeria Limited between January and December 2013, in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this honourable court, did use an aggregate sum of N878,362,732.94 (eight hundred and seventy-eight million, three hundred and sixty-two thousand, seven hundred and thirty-two naira, ninety-four kobo), removed from the accounts of the Nigerian air force and paid into the account of Rytebuilders Technologies Limited with Zenith Bank Plc for the construction of a shopping mall, situate at Plot 1386 Oda Crescent, Cadastral Zone A07, Wuse II, Abuja, for yourselves, when you reasonably ought to have known that the said funds formed part of the proceeds of unlawful activity (to wit: criminal breach of trust and corruption) of Air Chief Marshal Alex S Badeh and you thereby committed an offence contrary to section 15(2)(d)of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended) and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act
https://www.thecable.ng/breaking-court-grants-badeh-n2bn-bail

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