Ex-Chief of Defence Staff’s firm convicted in N3.9 billion fraud suit.
A Federal High Court, Abuja has convicted Iyalikam Nigeria Limited, a company linked to the late Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Air Chief Marshall Alex Badeh, of corruption and money laundering charges.
Justice Okon Abang, in a judgment delivered yesterday in the suit against the deceased Air Force chief and the company, also ordered that all the firm’s properties listed in the charge be forfeited to the Federal government through the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), just as he ordered the winding up of the establishment.
The defendants stood trial on a 14-count charge of criminal breach of trust and money laundering.
The court however terminated the charges filed against the late CDS.
The decision was predicated on a plea bargain reached by both the defense and prosecution counsel.
At the resumed trial, the prosecuting lawyer, Oluwaleke Atolagbe, stated that the business of the day was for the second defendant to open defense since the first defendant (Badeh) was dead.
He, however, informed the court that in view of an agreement reached between the prosecution and the defense, a further amended charge of 10 counts had been filed and a plea bargain agreement also filed.
“My Lord, there is a development, the prosecution met with the defense and we have been able to reach an agreement.
“We filed a further amended charge dated March 1 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 stated.
Consequently, he urged the court to direct that the new charge be read in the open and a guilty plea entered for the defendant.
“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 10 in the further amended charge as reflected in the plea bargain agreement.
“We further pray that the defendant is convicted and wound up based on the plea bargain agreement and Section 19 of the Money Laundering Act,” he added.
Ruling, Justice Abang said: “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-count 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 execution.”