By Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, Acting Director Defence Information
The Defence Headquarters (DHQ) … on Wednesday 3 July 2019, paraded 15 murder suspects who allegedly took part in the gruesome killing of the former Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Late Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh (Rtd). The former CDS was attacked and killed on 18 of December 2018 along Kachia – Keffi Express way while returning from his farm.
Speaking during the parading of the suspects before newsmen, at the DHQ Garrison, Mogadishu Cantonment, Abuja, the Chairman of the Joint Investigation Panel, Major General Bamidele Shafa disclosed that a total of 20 persons directly participated in the murder of the late CDS. He further stated that the remaining 5 suspects, who are still on the run, will be apprehended as efforts are being intensified to trace their whereabout.
Speaking further on the findings of the Investigation Panel and the individual role played by the suspects, Maj Gen Shafa explained that the attack and killing of Air Chief Marshal Badeh was “criminal and does not have any political undertone.”
He added that “aside the killing of the retired senior Airforce officer, the suspects also admitted to the kidnap of one Engineer Joseph Okpetu who was with the former CDS and was later released after the payment of Two Million Naira ransom. Maj Gen Shafa disclosed that 2 AK 47 rifles , a Dane gun and other dangerous weapons were recovered from the homes of the suspects.
The Joint Investigation Panel constituted by the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin comprised 27 members and an attorney, drawn from the DHQ, the three Services Headquarters, Defence Intelligence Agency, Nigeria Police and the Department of State Service with a clear mandate of ensuring exhaustive and well coordinated investigation to uncover and apprehend the perpetrators of the heinous crime.
The Panel was equally guided by terms of reference among which were conduct of autopsy examination on the deceased and a ballistic examination of associated fire arms.
Prime among the suspects paraded include one Aliyu Usman aka Chiroma 35 years old, who is the ring leader of the notorious gang, Shuaibu Rabo 25 years was the second in command and Musa Muhammed aka Alhaji Lamido Tahara aged 45 years was the third in command, while Ibrahim Abdullahi aka Baba aged 30 years was the mastermind and facilitator of the crime. Yahaya Nuhu, 18 years old was the biker that conveyed the ring leader to carry out the heinous crime.
According to the Chairman, the 15 suspects will be formally handed over to the appropriate agency for further investigation and prosecution immediately after they were paraded before the media.