Late Badeh Losses Properties, Firm to FG through Plea Bargain

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Three months after he was killed by unidentified gunmen, the family of former Chief of Defence Staff, late Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh (rtd), on Monday conceded to forfeit his company, Iyalikam Nigeria Limited and five choice  properties to the Federal Government in a plea bargain settlement with the EFCC.

The family had entered a plea bargain agreement with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), through his lawyer, Samuel Ologunorisa (SAN).

The agreement formed part of a judgment delivered by Justice Okon Abang at the Federal High Court, Abuja on Monday following a further amended charge brought by the EFCC where Badeh’s company Iyalikam Nigeria Limited was made the sole defendant after his demise.

At the resumed trial, on Monday the prosecuting counsel, Mr Oluwaleke Atolagbe told the Court that the business of the day was for the second defendant to open defence since the first defendant(Badeh) was now deceased.

Atolagbe said however, that in view of an agreement reached  between the prosecution and the defence, a further amended charge of 10 counts had been filed as well as a plea bargain agreement.

“My Lord, there is a development, the prosecution met with the defence and we have been able to reach an agreement.

“We filed a further amended charge dated March  1,  2019 and filed March 4 and we also filed a plea bargain agreement with regards to provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, (ACJA).”

Atolagbe asked that the new charge be read in open court and in view of the plea bargain agreement, a guilty plea be entered for the defendant, (Iyalikam Nigeria Limited) by the court.

Following the reading of the ten count amended charge and the plea of guilty entered for the defendant by the court, the lawyer prayed the court to enter judgement based on the plea bargain agreement.

“For the avoidance of doubt, we ask that the court should order, as part of the sentence, the final forfeiture of all the properties affected in counts one to ten in the further amended charge as reflected in the plea bargain agreement.

“We further pray that the defendant be convicted and wound up based on the plea bargain agreement and Section 19 of the Money Laundering Act.”

Delivering judgement, Justice Abang held  that in view of the plea bargain agreement, the defendant was guilty as charged.

“I have before me a plea bargain agreement duly executed by Iyalikam Nigeria Limited and the EFCC.

“I hereby find the defendant guilty and accordingly convict the defendant of the 10-counts further amended charge.

“Having regards to the plea bargain agreement duly executed by the parties, Iyalikam Nigeria Limited is hereby wound up and the judgment shall be served on the Corporate Affairs Commission for necessary action,” the judge said.

Justice Abang also ordered that the following assets be forfeited to the Federal Government;

“A mansion situated at No.6 Ogun River Str., off Danube Str., Maitama Abuja.

“A shopping mall situated at Plot 1386, Oda Crescent, Cadastral Zone, Wuse II Abuja.

“A duplex located at No.19, Kumasi Crescent, Wuse II Abuja.

“A duplex at No. 14 Adzope Crescent, off Kumasi Cresent ,Wuse II, Abuja.

“Semi-detached duplex at No. 8A Embu Street. by Sigma Apartments Wuse II, Abuja.

“The sum of $1 million recovered from No.6 Ogun River Street., off Danube Str., Maitama, Abuja.”

The judge further ordered that in view of the fact that the first defendant, (Badeh) was reported dead, all proceedings against him are terminated.

Until his death on December 18, 2018 , Badeh was standing trial on charges of alleged abuse of office, money laundering and converting public money to personal use to the tune N3.9bn.

He was arraigned along with the company on a 14-count charge bordering on fraud, to which he entered a “not guilty” plea to all counts.

The diverted money was said to have been meant for arms purchase in the face of worsening destruction by Boko Haram terrorists.

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