Badeh gets N2bn bail


The Federal High Court on Thursday in Abuja admitted former Chief of Defence Staff, Alex Badeh, to a N2 billion bail.
Badeh is standing trial for alleged money laundering, self enrichment from public funds and breach in the Procurement Act.
Delivering the ruling, Justice Okon Abang, however, held that the alleged offence was bailable.
He said the constitution had provided that the applicant be presumed innocent until proven guilty.
“I have carefully and painstakingly studied the submissions made by counsel to parties in this case and in my view granting of bails remains the discretion of the court.
“The issues raised in the 10-count charge levelled against the applicant in the charge are all bailable.
“In my view and according to Section 36 of the Constitution and the provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, the applicant is considered innocent until proven otherwise,’’ Abang said.
The judge further said: “However, the court is enjoined to consider the objections raised by the prosecution team in order to strike a balance between the issues raised in favour and against the application.’’
“In so doing, I have considered the nature of the offence, the severity of punishable and the amount of money allegedly stolen contained in the proof of evidence.
“Though the court has not over looked the fears raised by the prosecuting counsel, but I am compelled to adopt the provision of the constitution on this matter being the superior law.
“In doing so, the court is convinced that the country’s security agencies have the capacity to ensure the availability of the applicant in court to stand justice,’’ he held.
Abang said: “In the final analysis, having regard to the over N3 billion that forms the crux of this matter, the first defendant (Alex Badeh) is admitted to bail in the sum of N2 billion.’’
“The applicant is also expected to provide two sureties resident in Abuja in the sum of N1 billion each and landed properties whose market values must be evaluated by the court and EFCC.
“The sureties are mandated to provide three years of their tax clearance certifications with the Chief Registrar of the court.
“The defendant shall deposit his International and Green passports with the court,’’ Abang held.
The judge also said the EFCC was enjoined to comply with orders of the court within the time frame.
Earlier, Mr Samuel Zigiri (SAN), counsel to Badeh, argued that it was incumbent on the court to admit Badeh on self-recognisance as enshrined in Section 36 of the Constitution.
However, he submitted that the granting of bail remained at the discretion of the court, adding that the defendant’s undertaking to attend his trial was uppermost.
“The applicant has served the country in various capacities as gentleman military officer and would therefore not jump bail when granted,’’ said Zigiri.
Mr Rotimi Jacobs (SAN), however, opposed the application, citing the nature of the charge, the amount involved and the gravity of the punishment as elements that should work against the application.
“My Lord, the applicant was an ex-Chief of Defence Staff that has the capacity to influence his subordinates that would testify in this matter.
“The court should take judicial notice of the wavering character of the applicant who denied ownership of a property linked to him.
“But upon further investigation by the EFCC, the sum of one million dollar cash and his personal effects ranging from pictures, clothes were found in one of the rooms,’’ he said.
Jacobs said: “In the light of these variables cited, I urge the court to refuse this application and hold on to the acceleration order already in place.’’
The ex-CDS is being prosecuted by the EFCC for a 10-count charge ‎of‎ criminal breach of trust and corruption to the tune of N3.9 billion
Badeh is alleged to have used funds of the Nigeria Air Force to purchase choice property in Abuja.
According to the EFCC, Badeh illegally used N60 million to renovate his sons’ properties which he purchased for N260 million in Abuja between January and December 2013.
The former defence chief is also alleged to have used N878 million being funds of the Air Force to build a shopping mall in Abuja, among others.


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