The case against former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh (retd.) just took an interesting twist after the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) found $1million cash in a mansion belonging to him in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
The anti-graft commission said the $1million was found tucked in Badeh’s room.
The money recovered is believed to be part of the diverted arms procurement funds which Badeh is been tried for.
The former air force chief has a 10 count charge against him which include diverting N3.97billion belonging to the Nigerian Air Force (NAF).
“Apart from NAF funds, investigation confirmed that Badeh diverted funds meant for procurement of arms to Bureau De Change. We have interacted with some Bureau De Change operators.
“When we searched his mansion at 6, Ogun River Street in Maitama District in Abuja, $1million raw cash was found in one of the rooms,” a source told TheNation.
“Our operatives made sure that the search of the house was conducted in the presence of Badeh’s neighbours who can attest to the discovery. We ensured that these neighbours witnessed our operation.”
The source noted that the EFCC has not decided whether it will file a new charge against Badeh. “Badeh has a case to answer on diversion of funds voted for arms procurement. I cannot tell you whether or not he will face separate charges on the $1million.”
Prior the new evidence against Badeh, he had maintained that he never diverted funds meant for the procurement or arms. “It has been widely reported in the news that I am being investigated over the $2.1 billion arms deals but that is not true. I was not part of Dasukigate,” he said in a signed statement.
“The claim that five properties were acquired for me from the $2.1billion funds is also false. I was Chief of Air staff from Oct. 2012 to January 2014 and then appointed CDS.
“During my time serving as the CDS, funds for weapons were directly released to the Chief of Air staff, army staff and naval staff and not to me. I had no control over the funds and yet I am being accused of embezzling weapons funds.
“The office of the CDS had no operational control of the services and had nothing to do with their spending.”
The EFCC’s latest disclosures lent credence to the earlier statement of the Presidency that a special panel had linked Badeh and others to the $2.1billion arms deals.
The Presidency handed over Badeh and 17 others, including 11 senior military officers and 22 companies, to EFCC for investigation on the alleged $2.1billion arms deals.