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Badeh: Buhari orders probe as Jonathan, ex-Generals Mourn

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Badeh: Buhari orders probe as Jonathan, ex-Generals Mourn

Badeh: Buhari orders probe as Jonathan, ex-Generals Mourn
December 20
08:13 2018

Surprise and anger on Wednesday greeted the murder of an ex-Chief of Defence Staff,  Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh (retd.), on the Abuja-Keffi Road on Tuesday.

Among those, who condemned the killing was President Muhammadu Buhari, who ordered security agencies to urgently find the killers.

The late security chief’s colleagues, retired generals, demanded the immediate investigation of Badeh’s death, while the Peoples Democratic Party’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, said the killing was an indication of the failure of the Buhari administration.

The Nigerian Air Force, on its part, said it would find the killers of the former CDS, who once headed the NAF.

Describing the killing as “very sad and unfortunate,” the President asked security agencies to bring the attackers to justice.

Buhari, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, condoled with the family of the deceased, his associates and the government and the people of his home state, Adamawa.

The statement reads partly, “The President commiserates with the family of the late four-star generalpeoplfriends and professional colleagues in the military, and the people and government of Adamawa State.

“Noting that the late Badeh, who was also a former Chief of Air Staff, attained professional fulfilment in his over three decades military career, President Buhari regrets that he fell victim to an incident of violent and fatal attack on the nation’s highway.

“He directs security agencies to find the killers of the 15th Chief of Defence Staff and bring them to face the full force of the law, while ensuring greater security and safety for all users of the country’s roads.”

Meanwhile, NAF said it would arrest Badeh’s killers and make them to face justice.

The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, who said this at the Fourth Quarter Chief of Air Staff Conference on Wednesday in Abuja, noted that the killing was “totally unacceptable and hands must be put together to ensure some individuals do not undermine national security. “

He said, “We are no doubt in a state of shock at what happened yesterday (Monday) when the former CDS was killed along Keffi-Abuja road.

“The entire Air Force family is shocked about the incident and we are expressing our condolence to the wife and children of Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh.

“We are very appreciative of the sentiments expressed by Nigerians after the incident. It shows they love and support the Service. For this kind of thing to happen, it is something that is totally unacceptable.

“NAF is working to find those behind this crime, and by the special grace of God, we will get them and they will face justice.

“Though we are working hard, we should redouble our efforts; we need to work round the clock, we need to put in more effort.

“We need to collaborate more closely to ensure that these criminals are not allowed to endanger the lives of our people.

“On our part, as a service, I am sure you are aware of the efforts we are making to build the capacity of the special force and regiment personnel so as to add value to what we are doing in all parts of the country.

“It is not entirely a military affair; those guys that shot Badeh came from an environment; so, we all have to put hands together to make sure that our national security is not undermined by individuals.”

Before he was killed by suspected assassins on Tuesday, Badeh had reportedly complained to his associates and friends that he was being monitored by unknown people,.

It was learnt that he equally complained that his lines were bugged by unidentified people.

An associate of the deceased, who spoke on condition of anonymity, informed one of our correspondents that Badeh had also reported an attempt by unidentified persons to break into his home in Asokoro, Abuja, last month to security agents.

The source, however,  added that their investigation did not yield any result.

The source said, “The ex-CDS was always telling us his friends that he was not feeling safe even though he has about 10 armed operatives guarding him. He complained that he was being monitored and that his phone lines were bugged.

“We advised him to leave the country, but he refused, saying there was nowhere he could go that the government would not extradite him.

“He said that if he travelled out of the country, and decided not to return, the government would say he had run away because of the corruption case against him. See the end now. Which one is better now, to leave the country or be killed?”

It was learnt that the freezing of his bank accounts by the EFCC had made him insolvent and he could not pay his domestic and farm workers.

It was further gathered that Badeh went to his farm located off the Abuja-Keffi highway to harvest maize and other crops which he hoped to sell in order to pay the workers when he was murdered while returning home.

Another source, who is an intimate friend of the deceased, explained that Badeh had no avenue to raise money as all his properties had been seized by the EFCC.

He added, “Apart from the fact that the ex-CDS was broke, the endless trial was also taking a toll on him. He actually went to the farm to harvest maize and other crops so he could pay his domestic and farm workers when his assailants struck.

“It is such a big tragedy that a retired top military officer could be gunned down like that. We suspect that his death was politically motivated.”

It was gathered that Badeh lived alone while his wife resides in London. One of his three children was said to be a pilot in the United States military.

Meanwhile, the family members of Badeh may miss his burial as they remain on the watch list of the Department of State Services and the Nigeria Immigration Service.

Badeh’s widow, Mary Iya Badeh, and his two sons, Alex (Jnr.) and Kam, have been in the United States since 2016 following his prosecution by the EFCC.

A family friend of the Badehs told one of our correspondents that it was unlikely if they would come home for the burial.

He said, “I have spoken with them and I don’t know for now if they will be coming for the burial but it is highly unlikely. Their father has just been killed under controversial circumstances and the government has not removed them from the watch list. If they return and their passports are seized and they are not allowed to return, it would be a double tragedy.

“Everybody is still in shock so we cannot say for now if they will be coming but since they are Christians, there is no rush. A lot can happen before then.”

A prosecution witness, Abubakar Madaki, had told a Federal High Court sitting in Maitama that  Badeh’s wife and two of his children were being investigated for offences with which the ex-Chief of Air Staff was charged.

Madaki said the three of them, however, escaped to the United States before investigation was concluded.

He said all attempts to get them arrested turned out to be futile.

The witness had said, “At the initial stage, when we started investigation, we invited Alex Badeh (Jnr.) who lives in 19 Kumasi Crescent, Abuja, one of the properties earlier mentioned.

“He happened to be a son of the first defendant (Badeh). He claimed to be a tenant in that property and since investigation was ongoing at the preliminary stage, we allowed him to go pending when we had enough issues to question him about.

“He left and never came back. We later got to know that he has left the country for America.

“We were also looking for Mary Iya Badeh, the wife of the first defendant, who is one of the directors in the second defendant (Iyalikam Nigeria Limited).

“The second defendant (Iyalikam) had received so much funds from the alleged funds we are investigating.

“She too, according to investigation, has left the country for America. Kam Badeh (another of Badeh’s son) is one of the directors in one of the companies.

“We have gone round the locations that we had information that he does business, but we are unable to get him.

“Since the information was that they left through the International Airport, we wrote a letter to the Nigeria Immigration Service and the Department of State Services to put them on alert. But we have not been able to get them.”

He said when his team concluded investigation in the case, it “discovered that the first defendant (Badeh) and his wife had earlier incorporated a company Iyalikam Nigeria Limited” in whose accounts they allegedly diverted the Nigerian Air Force’s funds.

In his reaction, former President Goodluck Jonathan described the killing as wicked.

The former President recalled that Badeh, who served his administration as both Chief of Air Staff and Chief of Defence Staff served the nation to the best of his abilities.

Jonathan regretted that Badeh, who rose to the peak of his military career before his retirement, was murdered in a cruel way; at a time he could still be of service to his fatherland.

He therefore urged the security agencies to swiftly unmask those behind this dastardly act and bring them to justice.

However, Atiku attributed the killing of Badeh to the rising insecurity in the country. He said that the best tribute that Buhari could pay to the late security chief would be to ensure free and fair polls next year.

In a statement  in Abuja on Wednesday by his Special Assistant on Public Communication, Mr Phrank Shaibu,  Atiku said if the gunmen had not waylaid the vehicle in which  Badeh was travelling, he would not have sustained the gunshot wounds and  health complications that terminated his life.

Atiku said while Badeh’s death made headline news because of the personality involved, many ordinary Nigerians were either killed or maimed on a daily basis by  armed robbers, kidnappers, herdsmen and hoodlums across the country.

He said amid indications that the Buhari-led All Progressives Congress had allegedly lost the initiative to these criminals, he said it was time to remind the President  to get ready to give way to a more serious political party.

Also, the opposition PDP  has described Badeh’s murder  as  shocking. It stated that the killing of a military officer of Badeh’s status had heightened  the fear about insecurity in the country under the administration of  Buhari.

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