In the ongoing investigation into the diversion of funds meant for the procurement of arms and ammunition to prosecute the Boko Haram war, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has traced $1.6m has been traced to a former Director, Finance and Accounting at the Nigerian Air Force, Air Commodore S.A. Yushau (retd.).
Yushau and the immediate past Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh (retd.), were on Wednesday, February 17 moved to Lagos, in relation to a new investigation involving the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency.
On August 26, 2013, NIMASA signed an agreement with the Nigerian Air Force, with the objective of having the latter provide effective air surveillance and monitoring of the nation’s coastal areas.
Badeh, the Chief of Air Staff at the time, signed on behalf of the Air Force while Patrick Akpobolokemi, who was the Director-General of NIMASA, signed on behalf of the maritime agency.
Based on the MoU, N4.4bn (in dollars and naira) was reportedly transferred from the account of NIMASA to the Air Force.
However, during the course of its investigations, the EFCC discovered that part of the funds was diverted to private accounts.
Yushau- the Director of Finance and Accounts at the time, is believed to have diverted $1.6m which was transferred to the air force account by NIMASA shortly before his retirement.
A source at the EFCC revealed to Punch Newspapers that out of the diverted $1.6m, Yushau gave $800,000 to Badeh.
“We traced about $1.6m to Yushau who was the Director of Finance and Accounts in 2013. In his statement, he said he gave $800,000 to Badeh while Badeh gave him permission to take another $800,000 as a retirement gift.
“He (Yushau) said he spent part of the money on building a house in his home state in the North but the building collapsed. He said he invested the remaining money in some businesses so we are trying to see if we can recover some of his assets.
“However, Badeh has denied the allegations and we are still holding him.”
“We have traced about five properties we believe were bought by Badeh through proxies but he has denied ownership of all the properties. Badeh is really giving us a tough time.”