$8.4m fraud: I can’t recall my earnings in the army, says Bamaiyi

A former Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Ishaya Bamaiyi, on Thursday, told a Lagos State High Court in Ikeja that he could not remember how much he earned before he retired.

Bamaiyi said this while being cross-examined by Fred Ajudua who is also being tried by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for an alleged fraud of $8.4m.

The EFCC alleged that Ajudua defrauded Bamaiyi of the money while they were both on remand at Kirikiri Prison, Lagos.

Ajudua cross-examined Bamaiyi following the absence of his counsel, Olalekan Ojo (SAN).

At the Thursday’s proceeding, Bamaiyi said he spent 34 years in the army where he held various positions.

Responding to questions about his earnings, Bamaiyi said, “I cannot remember my earnings as the Chief of Army Staff. I was a Lieutenant General for two years and now I am a pensioner.

“When I left the Nigerian Army, I was paid gratuity and then pension which I now enjoy. I cannot remember how much I received as gratuity. I receive what the Chief of Army Staff receives as pension.”

The presiding judge, Justice Josephine Oyefeso, however, insisted that Bamaiyi told the court his earnings.

Responding, Bamaiyi said, “As a Chief of Army Staff, you receive about N1m per month. I cannot remember the gratuity; that was many years ago.

“I started my farm in 1984 when I was a Lieutenant Colonel. The farm is over 450 hectares and I still own it.”

Ajudua requested an adjournment to enable his counsel to further cross-examine the former army chief.

Justice Oyefeso adjourned the case till April 3.