The arraignment of the immediate past Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshal Alex Badeh, on 10 counts of money laundering before a Federal High Court in Abuja has been re-scheduled to hold on March 7 (next Monday).
The arraignment was initially billed to hold before Justice Okon Abang on Thursday, but had to be shifted because of the absence of the judge, who was said to be on an official trip outside Abuja.
As of about 9am on Thursday, operatives of the EFCC were still preparing the former CDS for court appearance until the lead prosecuting counsel, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), put a call through to them asking them to stay back in the light of the latest development.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on Monday filed 10 counts of money laundering against Badeh and a firm, Iyalikam Nigeria Limited, accusing them of fraudulently removing N3.97bn from the account of the Nigerian Air Force in 2013.
Badeh was said to have perpetrated the fraud along with Iyalikam Nigeria Limited while he was the Chief of Air Staff.
The relationship between Badeh and the company was not disclosed in the charges.
The accused allegedly bought landed assets in many choice areas of Abuja with the money.
Another judge of the Federal High Court in Abuja, Justice James Tsoho, had on Monday fixed March 4(Friday) for ruling on Badeh’s application for bail.
The anti-graft agency in the charges numbered, FHC/ABJ/CR/46, 2016, accused Badeh and Iyalikam Nigeria Limited of spending the total sum of N3,974,362,732.94, on acquisition, construction, renovation, furnishing of various property, including a shopping mall in many choice areas of Abuja.
Some of the assets were said to have been purchased, renovated and furnished for a son of the former Chief of Air Staff, Alex Badeh (Jnr.).
The assets allegedly include a mansion at No. 6 Ogun River Street, Off Danube Street, Maitama, Abuja which the defendants were said to have purchased with N1.1bn.
The accused also allegedly bought a commercial plot of land at Plot 1386, Oda Crescent Cadastral Zone A07, Wuse II, Abuja for N650m.
They were said to have paid N878m for the construction of a shopping mall at Plot 1386, Oda Crescent Cadastral Zone A07, Wuse II, Abuja and another sum of N304m to complete the construction.
The anti-graft agency also accused them of paying N260m to purchase a duplex at No. 19 Kumasi Crescent, Wuse II, Abuja for Badeh’s son.
The sum of N60m was said to have been paid for the renovation of the property and another N90m to furnish the property.
The accused persons also alleged paid N330m to one Honourable Bature to purchase a duplex at No. 14 Adzope Crescent, Off Kumasi Crescent, Wuse II, Abuja.
They were also accused of paying N240m to Rabiu Isyaku Rabiu to buying a semi-detached duplex at No. 8A, Embu Street, by Sigma Apartment, Wuse II, Abuja.
They also allegedly renovated a private property at No. 2 Nelson Mandela Street Asokoro, Abuja with N62m.
In the charges signed by EFCC’s Deputy Director, Legal and Prosecution Department, the anti-graft agency alleged that the sum of N3.9bn was removed from the accounts of the Nigerian Air Force.
The commission alleged that the various sums of money were part of proceeds of Badeh’s unlawful activities – “criminal breach of trust and corruption”.
The money laundering charges were said to be 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.