A former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal, Alex Badeh (retd.), has permanently forfeited $1m to the Federal Government, The PUNCH can authoritatively confirm.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, while investigating the arms scam in ex-President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, had searched Badeh’s mansion located at 6 Ogun River Crescent, Maitama, on March 6, 2016 and found $1m cash.
The house, which is worth about N1.1bn, was subsequently seized by the EFCC while the cash was taken seized as evidence.
Badeh was later arraigned before Justice Okon Abang of a Federal High Court for an alleged N3.7bn fraud.
The mansion and the cash were listed as evidence against Badeh in court.
However, Badeh denied ownership of the mansion and its contents.
A presidency source said, “In March, the EFCC searched the house in the presence of neighbours and other witnesses and found $1m in cash.
“Other personal items linked to Badeh were found in the mansion and everything was listed as evidence.
“However, when the matter was taken to court, Badeh denied that the property belonged to him. As you know, the mansion has been converted to Federal Government’s use. In fact, the mansion is now being used by the Presidential Committee on the North-East Initiative headed by Gen. Theophilus Danjuma.
“As for the money, it has been deposited into the Consolidated Revenue Account of the Federal Government. Since Badeh has denied ownership of everything, the money has permanently been forfeited to the Federal Government.
“Even if Badeh is found not guilty in court, he cannot turn around to demand the $1m or the property as this will amount to perjury which is a criminal offence and carries a jail term.”
When contacted on the telephone, Badeh’s lawyer, Mr. Samuel Zibri (SAN), in a terse text message, insisted that the property did not belong to his client.
He said, “I have checked through my records. The property is not Badeh’s property. I am not aware of any interim order of forfeiture, neither am I aware of it being converted to a Federal Government office.”
Badeh also allegedly bought a commercial plot of land at Plot 1386, Oda Crescent, Cadastral Zone A07, Wuse II, Abuja, for N650m.
He was 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.