A prosecution witness and former Director of Finance and Account, Nigerian Air Force, Air Commodore Aliyu Yishau (retd.) has admitted owing multi-million naira properties in three states of the federation.
He made the disclosure yesterday under cross-examination by defence counsel to Badeh who is facing trial at the Federal High Court, Abuja, on allegations of fraud.
Besides, the witness insisted that the former Chief of Defence Staff gave him verbal instructions to carry out all his transactions. Yashau further admitted that some of Badeh’s properties marked by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) were under investigation. While being crossed examined by a senior counsel in Badeh’s defence team, Mr. Samuel Zibiri, Yashau claimed he bought some of the property with housing loans.
For the second time, the witness insisted that Badeh gave him verbal instructions to carry out all his transactions.
He said although he was aware of the financial regulation for public service, which stipulates that all expenses should be documented, he did not request for documentary authorisation because things operate differently in the military.
“When a request for expenditure is made through the Chief of Air Staff, it has to be in writing, but if the Chief of Air Staff is making a request for expenditure, he does not put it in writing. If the Chief of Air Staff asked me to buy a N50 million car for his friend, he does not need to write, and I will not question his request because he is the chief accounting officer, that is how we operate in the military. It has been so throughout the period I worked as Director of Finance and Accounts at NAF,” he said.
On whether the account of the NAF was usually audited by the Auditor General of the Federation annually, he told the court that the Chief of Staff as the chief accounting officer does not need to justify his request for funds
However, the trial judge, Justice Okon Abang was forced to adjourn midway after the prosecution counsel requested that the witness be given his statement to go through in order to refresh his memory on the new line of questioning.
Accordingly the trial was adjourned to today to enable them get the certified statement of the witness.