Badeh Asked Me To Lie To EFCC That I Own His N1.8bn Shopping Mall — Witness

The fourth prosecution witness in the trial of former Chief of Defence Staff, Alex Badeh, has narrated how he was instructed to lie to authorities and pretend as the owner of Mr. Badeh’s N1.8 billion shopping mall.

The witness, Mustapha Yerima, who began testifying on Monday, said he was instructed by Mr. Badeh’s protégé, Salisu Yushau, to tell the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, that the shopping mall constructed on a land said to have belonged to the Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, belonged to his company, Right Builders Nigeria Limited.

“We continued our work after payments were made until one fateful morning, one of the site supervisors called me that the EFCC operatives are looking for me. Immediately I drove down to the site, they asked if the property belongs to Dasuki, I told them I have never seen or met Dasuki,” the witness said.

“I was asked to report to their office by 3pm. Before I got to their office, I called Air Commodore Yushau (former director of finance at the Nigerian Air force), to tell him what happened.

“Yushau told me that since we are into property development as a company, I should claim the property because he was scared,” Mr. Yerima stated.

He also said the property in question was at the time, under the supervision of Mr. Badeh’s son, Alex Junior. He said Mr. Yushau’s initial response was for him (Mr. Yerima) to contact Mr. Alex Junior.

“He panicked, that since he has handed over the project to the original owner, and it was Alex Badeh Junior that was coordinating, I should call him, which I did, but he told me that his father was not around and that I should call Yushau back.

“After I spoke with Badeh Junior, he said he had discussed with Yushau and he will give me directives on what to tell the EFCC operatives,” Mr. Yerima stated, adding that it was during his second call to Mr. Yushau that he Mr. Yushau instructed him to claim ownership of the said property.

Explaining how he complied with the directive, and what eventually led to his confession, Mr. Yerima said he was called during the purchase of the land by a man identified as Timothy Muje who was Mr. Badeh’s lawyer and they scheduled a meeting with Mr. Muje at Wuse 2, Abuja.

“We met and he handed over some of the property documents to me, including the original certificate of occupancy, deed and power of attorney between Ayodele Fayose and one Tony.

“He also handed over the power of attorney and deed between Tony and Kasamgo Investment, which was signed,” Mr. Yerima said.

He however added that a deliberate attempt was made by his instructors to prevent him from having the power of attorney and deed of assignment between Right Builders and Kasamgo.

“But when I got to EFCC, it was a different ball game because I was confronted with some chilling evidences. I was confronted with so many documents such as copies of drawing, bill of quantity, statement of accounts and so many other documents including email correspondences, at that point I had no option but to tell EFCC exactly the way things were,” Mr. Yerima said.

He added that the approximate cost of the shopping mall, after construction was about N1.8 billion.

Mr. Yerima had on Monday told the court that the land where the said shopping mall was constructed had belonged to the Ekity State governor, Ayodele Fayose.

He said the cost of the land was N650 million.

Since the beginning of his trial, several witnesses have testified regarding sums of money spent on purchase of land at various parts of the country for Mr. Badeh.

Credit: Premium Times

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EFCC Seals ‘Capital Hub’ Plaza Owned By Saraki’s Chief Of Staff, But Apparently In Error [Photos]

In continuation of its fight against corruption, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Wednesday embargo on Capital Hub, A shopping plaza in Abuja.

The plaza located at Plot 272, Banex/Gwarimpa Expressway, Mabushi, Abuja is said to be owned by Senator Isa Galaudu, Senate President Bukola Saraki’s chief of staff.

An eye witness said everyone doing business there at the time of the operation by the anti-graft agency, were asked to vacate the premises.

However, a source close to owner of the plaza said Senator Galauda is not in anyway connected with the current probe of the EFCC, wondering why the Plaza had to be sealed without a justifiable reason.

He said the land the plaza is sitting on was allocated to the senator as far back as 1991 when no development has taken place in the area.

Another source who said he owns one of the shops in the plaza told Abusidiqu that he is sad over the development, confriming that the EFCC erred in its action.

“We have gone to the EFCC to complain over the development and they have apologised and asked us to return back to our business”, the source said.

“They asked us to clean the ‘EFCC’ markings painted in red and open our shops and we have since done that.”

He said the target of the agency is one Hadiza Mamu, who operates Prim & Proper Halal Salon and Spa in Suite 411 of the plaza.

Halima is the daughter of Air Vice Marshal Alkali Mamu, one of the serving military personnel ordered to be investigated by President Muhammadu Buhari in relation to the arms procurement scandal.

Abusidiqu was unable to get the comment of the EFCC spokesperson, Wilson Uwajuren.

Checks by Abusidiqu reveals that normal business activities has since resumed at the plaza.

See more photos below:

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capital hub

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Saraki And Forum Shopping, Judicial Abuse Process By Utum Eteng

The desperation by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki to free himself from the tight grip of the law using different courts and legal tactics on the same facts, brings to the fore mischief and also the understanding of the law by his handlers. Saraki’s constitutional right to seek redress is not without exceptions or limitations. The exceptions include the right not to use the same set of facts under any guise to seek redress in more than one court, as he is doing now. This, in law is an abuse of the use of judicial process. Saraki’s headache in this multiple actions is how to stop his trial before the CCT, Abuja. His approach portends serious danger to the Rule of Law and to the jurisprudence of established legal norms with acceptable procedures outlined on how to invoke the jurisdiction of any courts of records. It is trite law that judgment in any given case is not given to favour a party who unreasonably lined up the highest number of senior lawyers or who instead of two witnesses calls forty. Saraki has the right, if he can afford to procure the professional services of as many senior lawyers as his deep pocket guarantees him. But his deep pocket cannot give him the locus to move from court to court on the same facts.  

 

However, Saraki should be reminded that, the nature of the relief, the quality and character of evidence brought before the court, would determine the judgment he gets. Judges give judgment base on the evidence before them to support the reliefs prayed for. Suffice it to let Saraki, as the president of the highest law making body in Nigeria know that it is not by ones power position or choice that jurisdiction in a case is conferred in a court, but by statute and the reliefs making up the cause of action. Jurisdiction is the vire or the blood which justice flows in the veins of the law, and the lack of it in a case renders an action nugatory.

 

Thus, the recent ruling on Friday November 6, 2015 by a Federal High Court in Lagos presided over by Hon Justice Ibrahim Buba, wherein he dismissed Saraki’s application under the cover of the enforcement of his fundamental human rights is a classic example of a case on forum shopping and also one of abuse of the use of judicial process. Before now, it is on record that Saraki had used a different set of lawyers in Abuja before another Federal High Court to want to stop his arraignment at the CCT, but was refused. His appeal to the Court of Appeal Abuja was dismissed and has now lodged an appeal to the Supreme Court with a motion for a stay of execution of the judgment of the Court of Appeal Abuja. What would be the effect should the stay be granted, howbeit interim or if the real appeal succeeds? The effect would be to stop his trial before the CCT. What again would be the effect if the Lagos Federal High Court granted his application before it; still it would be to stop Saraki’s trial before the CCT. Alternatively put, why would Saraki and his handlers resort to this style of forum shopping when they know that the facts in the Lagos application are not proximate to his arraignment in Abuja in terms of venue? Saraki may change lawyers to pave way for the Lagos application, but like the Bible said, a leopard remains one because of its spots, which it cannot change.

 

Hon Justice Buba in dismissing the Lagos application made no mistake when he stated inter alia that “it is clear that the charge against the applicant is before the CCT sitting in Abuja” that “if there is no evidence that the infringement or likely infringement cut across more than one state, then the court will not have the vire or jurisdiction to entertain same”.

 

What has continued to bother the mind is, why would Saraki manifest such desperation again, this time to bring about judicial disorder and possible conflict of judgments in the different courts he has approach? Is it just to free himself from actions or omissions he freely took or omitted to take? It is on record that Saraki on his own accord, freely told Nigerians how in his desperation to be the Senate President arrived the senate premises several hours before the official sitting time, even when his colleagues in the APC were holding a party meeting at the International Conference Centre Abuja. If Saraki has become the Senate President and he is not getting the happiness, rest or peace of mind, he should be bold enough to hold himself responsible for it. In law, everyman bears the consequences of his actions/inactions. Saraki should by now accept that the jurisdiction exercised by the CCT to try him is conferred to it by the constitution which no court would upon a wave of the hand stop without causing disorder in the system. His multiple actions in courts using the same facts to gain the same effect do not speak well of him. His tackless open romance and preference for the PDP at the detriment of his majority ruling party also do not present him as one to be relied upon or trusted. If like he argued before Justice Buba of the Lagos court that “the Respondents were humiliating and prosecuting him on trumped up charges with the intention of securing his removal, impeachment and or resignation from office as Senate President”, then Saraki should count himself lucky that he knew in advance the cause of his travails and should have taken proper and honest steps to free himself, to have rest. He should be wise enough to avoid like a plague those things that could cause him pains in the heart ad restlessness. After all arising from his desperation, the National body of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) is set to probe the alleged circumstances of the workout of the about 26 lawyers who represented him at the CCT when the tribunal refused to grant his application to suspend his trial. If to be at peace is indeed what Saraki desires, he should as a politician sincerely make peace with the platform upon which he came to the senate.

 

If a plot to subvert a sitting government is treasonable felony, and mutiny in the armed forces is a serious crime attracting dead sentence, what then is the punishment for a politician who disobeys the serious decisions of his party to stabilize its government? Saraki as an experienced politician should know the answer.

 

A man in search of peace using the courts must also be ready to do peace outside the court. Saraki has every opportunity to free himself now before it’s late. What is happening to him now is like the court scenario in a murder trial, where an accused person on trial takes part in the jokes, smiles and laughters in court until judgment of “to die by hanging” is pronounced on him and he ceases to notice the jokes and smiles on the faces of his lawyers and he is taken away to a waiting Black Maria.     

 

 

 

CHIEF (BARR) UTUM ETENG

SENIOR LEGAL PRACTITIONER

HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST AND

ANTI-CORRUPTION CRUSADER  

 

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Falomo Shopping Centre: Our Case Against Lagos Gov Ambode- Elumelu’s Firm

The management of Afriland Properties Plc, a firm being promoted by former UBA boss, Tony Elumelu has disagreed with Lagos state governor, Akinwunmi Ambode over the latter’s claim that the contract between the state government and the firm on the notes with concern, recent reports redevelopment of Falomo Shopping Centre, Ikoyi Lagos.

While Ambode announced on Wednesday that the concession contract with the firm has been terminated because it paid only N50 million for a 50 years lease, the property development company in a statement today by its MD/CEO Uzo Oshogwe, said the governor’s claim was not true.

The statement which is a response to media reports on the governor’s claim reads in part: “These unverified reports have implied that, the contract with the Lagos State Development and Property Corporation (LSDPC) was terminated on the grounds that the concession terms are “grossly detrimental” to Lagos State and its residents.  The reports also claim that Afriland Properties Plc only made a payment of N50 million for a 50-year lease of the government-owned land.

“Though the authenticity of these reports is unconfirmed, Afriland strongly refutes the suggestion that it has engaged in any misconduct or that the transaction is in any way detrimental to the people and government of Lagos State.

“We are strongly committed to creating a world class project, which will act as an economic magnet for central Lagos, creating opportunities for Lagosians and which crucially has been structured to ensure ongoing value will accrue to Lagos State and to Lagosians. The contract was negotiated transparently and in accordance with best practice.

“Afriland Properties PLC and the Lagos State Development Property Corporation (LSDPC), acting on behalf of the Lagos State government, established a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) which is jointly owned by the parties for the specific purpose of developing the Falomo project.

“Under the terms of the agreement, the SPV- Falomo Shopping Centre Development Company Ltd – was granted a concession to, amongst other things, develop, build, operate and maintain the Project on a Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis.

“Afriland paid N50m (fifty million naira) to LSDPC as an expression of interest in the redevelopment project. The LSPDC will receive a 35% interest in the SPV for its land contribution and through this significant Equity Holding, will continue to receive significant ongoing value.

“Afriland is obliged to fund the entirety of the development costs which is projected to exceed N30 billion without recourse to the Nigerian taxpayer. The new facility will comprise a state-of-the-art shopping mall, office complex and generous parking facilities.

“Afriland has consistently adhered to the terms of its agreement with LSDPC, as outlined in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and Joint Venture Agreement that were signed and executed by the aforementioned parties.

“Furthermore, all value to be derived from the creation of this world-class commercial venture will be held in, and enjoyed by Lagos State and its residents. The development will ultimately revert to the state upon expiration of the lease.

“Apart from delivering an environment that befits the city and is consistent with the government’s goal of an aesthetically pleasing skyline, the Falomo site will be home to thriving businesses that will contribute significantly to the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the state.

“As an organization, Afriland Properties Plc and its affiliated companies have always upheld the values of integrity and excellence. We have nothing but the utmost respect for the dictates of the law and till date, have acted accordingly. As such, we are unequivocal in our belief that our sincere intentions for this landmark project will be validated in due course.

“As a significant investor in Nigeria and one which is committed to ensuring value creation within the country, we would underline the importance of creating a business environment that is based on transparency, contractual certainty and social partnership. At a time when Nigeria urgently needs to diversify its economy and attract broad based foreign direct investment, the rumours we have identified do little to promote the National interest or create the business environment our country needs.”

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Dear General Buhari: Here Is My Shopping List By Peregrino Brimah

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Dear General Buhari: Here Is My Shopping List By Peregrino Brimah

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