The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission told a Federal High Court on Thursday that a former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshall Alex Badeh (retd), helped his wife and two children escaped from being prosecuted on charges bordering on fraudulent diversion of about N3.7bn funds belonging to the Nigerian Air Force.
The anti-graft agency alleged that Badeh while being the Chief of Air Staff removed the N3.97bn from the account of the Nigerian Air Force between January and December 2013 and used the money to acquire mansions, shopping complex and other landed assets for himself and his son, Alex Badeh (Jnr), in choice areas of Abuja.
An EFCC detective, Yusuf Kassim, who deposed to a counter-affidavit opposing Badeh’s bail application on Thursday, stated that Badeh’s wife, his daughter and son were all involved in the alleged fraud but that he (Badeh) helped them to escape from being prosecuted.
The affidavit read in part, “That our investigation also revealed that some of the close associates of the applicant including his wife, son and daughter who are also linked with the crime being alleged have all absconded from jurisdiction with the assistance of the applicant so as to avoid being prosecuted.”
Kassim stated that Badeh’s son, Alex Badeh (Jnr), was arrested in his statement obtained by the EFCC but that when he was allowed to go home, he allegedly escaped with the help of his father.
He stated, “That in the course of our investigation Alex Badeh (Jnr), the son of the applicant made his statement with the commission and was allowed to go home while he was asked to report back later, but he absconded from jurisdiction in connivance of the applicant herein (Badeh) and he is now at large.”
The anti-graft agency also said its operatives found cash sum of $1m in the bedroom of an Abuja mansion of the former Chief of Defence Staff.
It alleged that the ex-CDS purchased the house in which the money was found with dollar equivalent of N1.1bn which was said to have been part of the N3.97bn fraudulently removed from the accounts of the Nigerian Air Force.
It said although, Badeh had denied ownership of the property, his belongings, including his photographs, were found in it during a search by the operatives of the commission.