•As Police ambush Metuh in court
From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) continued its evidence against former Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Air Marshal Alex Badeh, with revelations of how he allegedly authorised transfer of funds which were later diverted for his personal use.
This was the testimony of former director of finance of Nigerian Air Force, Air Commodore Abdullahi Yushau, yesterday, during a cross-examination by Badeh’s lawyer.
Yushau told the Court that “no money goes out of the accounts of Nigerian Airforce without the authorisation of the Chief of Air Staff.
“When documents of transactions are sent to the Chief of Air Staff, he usually authorised them.”
He further told the court that “the balance of the salaries and allowances of personnel of the Nigerian Air force was used for the servicing of the office of the Chief of Air Staff.”
The retired director of finance had earlier told the court that money meant for personnel allowances and salaries were converted into dollars and he, personally, delivered the money to Badeh in his then official residence inside Niger Barracks.
“What is remaining is about N1.6billion or N1.7billion, out of which, the sum of N558,200,000 was taken to Badeh’s official residence at the Niger barracks in Abuja.”
The witness also said the N558,200,000 was under the “control of Badeh, which he gave approval for it to be exchanged into US dollars and taken to his official residence.”
Meanwhile, Justice Okon Abang adjourned the matter till April 8 for cross-examination of witness.
Police ambush Metuh in Court
Drama, however, trailed hearing of Chief Olisa Metuh’s suit. Apparently acting in anticipation that Justice Abang would disqualify himself from Metuh’s trial, having alleged, last week, that he and the judge were former classmates, armed policemen laid ambush at the court.
Subsequently, Metuh asked the judge to disqualify himself from the suit.
Had the judge done so, Metuh would have become vulnerable for arrest to be charged before another judge. But, that was not to be as the court, after listening to submissions from counsels to both parties on Metuh’s application praying the Judge to disqualify himself, ruling was reserved till April 8. After the matter was adjourned, the policemen dispersed from the complex of the court.
Metuh had also filed an application for stay of proceedings pending the decision of the Court of Appeal.
He had, on March 16, through one of his Counsels, Emeka Etiaba (SAN), petitioned the Honourable Chief Judge of Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Auta, urging him to transfer the case to another Judge for fear that he might not get justice from Justice Abang’s Court.
In a related development, Borno Elders’ Forum (BEF), in statement, opined that those who benefited from the “sharing” of money meant for arms purchase, to fight insurgency in the North-East, are forces behind Boko Haram.
Spokesperson of the forum, Ambassador Usman Gaji Galtimari, yesterday, said since the Boko Haram uprising from 2009 to date, they have been speaking out at every critical stage of the crisis, and ways of addressing very critical security and social issues.
In a signed statement the group said: “The people who sponsored Boko Haram or those who deliberately turned away from their official responsibilities on security issues, or those who looted the funds meant for the prosecution of the war against Boko Haram, and those who spoke or continue to speak in their favour are all one and the same.
“They all, individually and collectively aided and sponsored the Boko Haram insurgency. They colluded to ensure the death of our brave soldiers, innocent people and the near total destruction of our society. “Nigerians should stand by us and collectively assist to bring those responsible to book.
“It does not speak well of any Nigerian, for whatever reason, to fight or criticize the President of Nigeria or calling our anti–corruption agencies names, when they simply want to make offenders pay for the crimes most of them had confessed to have committed”.
“Much has been said about sponsors of Boko Haram.
“With the horrifying revelations about the ‘Arms Deal’, it is no longer necessary to continue delaying the search for the real sponsors of Boko Haram.”