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FG approaches court for final forfeiture of Badeh’s six houses, $1m

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The Federal Government has taken steps to ensure final forfeiture of six houses, including a mall all located in Abuja and $1million allegedly recovered from the late ex-Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh.

Acting on behalf of the government, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has applied at a Federal High Court in Abuja for an order of final forfeiture of the assets.

In an application filed by EFCC’s Chike Okoroma late last year, a copy of which The Nation sighted on Wednesday, the identified the assets to include five duplexes, a mall and cash of $1million (allegedly recovered from one of Badeh’s houses).

They are described in court documents as *a duplex at 6 Ogun River Street, Off Danube Street, Off IBB Way, Maitama, Abuja.

*a duplex at 19 Kumasi Crescent, Wuse II, Abuja.

*a duplex at 14 Adzope Crescent, Off Kumasi Crescent, Wuse II, Abuja

*a duplex at 8A Embu Street by Stigma Apartments, Wuse II, Abuja.

*a duplex at Dou-Girei, Yola North Local Government Area, Adamawa State.

*a mall at plot 1386 Oda Crescent, off Aminu Kanu Crescent (Cadastral Zone AO7) Wuse II, Abuja.

On Wednesday, when Okoroma mentioned the application, Justice Okon Abang granted the applicant leave to publish the application and fixed February 25 for the hearing.

Earlier, Justice Abang adjourned to February 26 for fro a decision on how best to proceed in the criminal trial involving Badeh.

Badeh and a firm, Iyalikam Nigeria Limited were being tried on charges of money laundering to the tune of N3.9billion, being he was reportedly killed on December 18 last year.

The prosecuting agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had, on October 23, 2018, closed its case after calling 21 witnesses, following which the trial judge, Justice Okon Abang adjourned to January 16, 2019 for the 1st defendant (Badeh) to open his defence.

At the commencement of proceedings on Wednesday, Badeh’s lawyer, Akin Olujinmi (SAN) informed the court about his client’s demise.

Olujinmi, who described the development as shocking, said Badeh’s sudden death has deprived him of the opportunity to let the world know that he did not commit the offence with which he was charged.

He said noted that when a defendant to a criminal charge dies,, the litigation against him must end.

Olujinmi said his deceased client would have been able to disprove the allegations against him.

He sought an adjournment to after his deceased client’s burial. He told the court that parties would meet to agree on how best to proceed with the case.

Samuel Zibiri (SAN), who appeared for the 2nd defendant (Iyalikam) agreed with Olujinmi.

Lawyer for the prosecution, Oluwaleke Atolagbe , though expressed his condolence over the 1st defendant’s death, argued that it was essential for the defence to furnish it with a death certificate.

Atolagbe, who did not object to the defence’s application for adjournment, confirmed that moves had been made towards setting up a meeting between both parties to decide in which direction the case will go.

He argued that it was not ideal to adjourned until after Badeh’s burial when Olujinmi did not disclose when the burial was likely to take place.

Ruling, Justice Abang agreed with Olujinmi that in such a matter of public knowledge, which the court itself, as a member of a community, is aware of, there is not need to require the production of a death certificate for the court to believe that the 1st defendant was actually dead.

The judge said: “In the instant case, it is not necessary for the counsel to the first defendant to tender a death certificate, because the death of the first defendant is public knowledge and the court is aware. -t is not in dispute that the first defendant is dead.”

Justice Abang, who prayed that the deceased’s soul rest in peace, noted that while his trial lasted, Badeh conducted himself diligently, was humble and respectful to the court.

The judge said while Badeh was always punctual in court, he never attempted to frustrate proceedings in his trial by filing frivolous applications.

He said: “He was humble and peaceful. He would always stand, waiting in the dock until the court would order him to sit. He attended proceedings at all times and always present in time.

He never asked for frivolous applications or wasted the court’s time, complying at all times with the court’s rules. May his soul rest in peace,” the judge said.

 

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