N3.97bn alleged diversion: Badeh secures N2bn bail
Justice Okon Abang of a Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday granted bail to a former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal, Alex Badeh (retd), in the sum of N2bn.
The bail is to be guaranteed by two sureties in the sum of N1bn each.
Justice James Tsoho, in his ruling on Thursday, granted bail to Badeh, after dismissing the objection of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to it.
'The principle of presumption of innocence operates in favour of the accused person,' the judge ruled.
â€ŽJustice Abang had on March 7 ordered that Badeh be remanded in prison shortly after the EFCC arraigned the former military chief and a company, Iyalikam Nigeria Limited, on 10 counts of money laundering.
The charges involve alleged criminal breach of trust and corruption relating to diversion of about N3.97bn which Badeh and the company were said to have fraudulently removed from the accounts of the Nigerian Air Force between January and December 2013.
The judge had on March 7 fixed Thursday for hearing of the bail application.
But among other bail conditions imposed on Badeh on Thursday, the judge ordered the ex-CDS to deposit both his blue and green passports with the court throughout the period of his trial.
His proposed surties must also have landed assets in any part of Abuja and that the certificates of occupancy of the respective property must be submitted to the court.
The judge directed that the Chief Registrar of the court to verify in writing the value of the assets from the relevant department of the Federal Capital Territory Development Administration and the genuineness of their certificates of occupancy.
EFCC was also ordered to verify the value of the landedâ€Ž assets of the sureties and the genuineness of their respective certificates of occupancy within 24 hours of being served with a notice by the Chief Registrar of the court.
The two sureties are also to depose to affidavits of means declaring their capability to pay the bail sum -N1bn each - in the case they are called upon to do so.
They are also to submit â€Žtwo recent passport photographs each with the court.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission had told the court during the hearing of Badeh's bail application earlier on Thursday that its operatives found cash sum of $1m in the bedroom of an Abuja mansion of the former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshal Alex Badeh (retd).
The anti-graft agency alleged that the ex-CDS purchased the house in which the money was found with dollar equivalent of N1.1bn said to have been fraudulently removed from the accounts of the Nigerian Air Force in 2013.
It said although, Badeh had denied ownership of the property, his belongings, including photographs were found in it during a search by the operatives of the commission.
This was part of the submission of EFCC's lawyer, Mr. Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), while opposing the bail application filed by Badeh, who is currently on remand in Kuje prison with respect to his ongoing trial for alleged diversion of about N3.97bn belonging to the Nigerian Air Force. – Punch.