Alleged N3.97 billion fraud: GTBank staff testifies against Nigeria’s former defence chief

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Eso Faleke, a prosecution witness in the on-going trial of former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshal Alex Badeh, said on Wednesday that the former air force chief operated Iyalikam Nigerian Ltd account.

Mr. Badeh is standing trial before an Abuja Federal High Court on alleged N3.97 billion fraud.

Mrs. Faleke, who is a staff of the Guaranty Trust Bank and the account officer of Iyalikam Nigerian Ltd, the 2nd defendant, told the court that the company’s account was opened in 2005 by one Mary Badeh.

The witness was led in evidence by Rotimi Jacobs, the prosecution counsel.

The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that Mr. Badeh had earlier denied operating such a company account.

The witness said the bank transferred N48 million from the company’s account on Mr. Badeh’s instructions to some companies and individuals.

She also informed the court that she electronically transferred N10 million from the second defendant’s account on July 23, 2015 on the instruction of Mr. Badeh.

She also said another N8 million was also transferred to one Mohammed Hamidu on July 23, 2015.

According to Mrs. Faleke, the bank transferred another N30 million, in two tranches of N14 million and N16 million to Habco Nigeria Ltd.

The witness informed the court that N4,740,000 was paid into Iyalikam’s account on July 2013 by the order of Bamuba Global Resource.

Mrs. Faleke said that another N3 million was also deposited on October 18, 2013 by one Enyi Jonathan, while N6 million was transferred into the account by Nonaway Nigeria Ltd.

According to her, Prime Touch Insurance also deposited N40 million into the company’s accounts on April 23, 2015.

When cross-examined by counsel to the defendant, Akinlolu Olujimi, Mr. Faleke informed the court that Iyalikam Nigeria Ltd accounts was opened at the Garki branch in 2013.

The witness told the court that it was one Olorunfemi, who had since left the bank, that handled the opening of the account.

According to the witness, as at the time the account was opened, Mr. Badeh was not a signatory. She said he became a signatory in 2015.

Mrs. Faleke said that the N30 million transfer was under the written instruction of Mr. Badeh and that the N10 million and N8 million were transferred based on telephone instructions.

According to the witness, telephone instructions were valid instructions and they were backed by verification via the e-mail sent by Mr. Badeh.

Justice Okon Abang adjourned the matter till November 3 for the continuation of cross-examination of the witness.

(NAN)