The circumstances surrounding the assassination of a former Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh (rtd), will soon be revealed as Special Forces of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) have arrested two of the suspected killers. A security source in Nasarawa, who confirmed the breakthrough to New Telegraph in confidence yesterday, said: “Two out of the (suspected) killers have been arrested.
“They were arrested between Abuja and Nasarawa (State).” Some of the suspects have explained why Badeh was killed. It was learnt that the suspects collected N2.5 million ransom to release Badeh’s friend, Engr. Joseph. New Telegraph learnt that Operatives of the Inspector- General of Police, Ibrahim Idris’ Special Intelligence Response Team (IRT), arrested Badeh’s killers. The suspects were arrested between Sunday and Monday.
A competent source told New Telegraph that the suspected killers would soon be paraded in Abuja. Many had feared that Badeh was assassinated. But a source told this newspaper last night that the December 18th operations that led to the death of the former Chief of Air Staff was a robbery operation that went awry.
Sources told New Telegraph that the suspects confessed that they had no intention of killing Badeh when he was accosted, but his driver’s refusal to stop when he was flagged down made them to open fire on his convoy. A source familiar with the operations told New Telegraph that what triggered the operations was the money in Badeh’s possession. The money was to be used to purchase an expanse of land for his farm. “We learnt from local people near the farm of the ex-CDS that Badeh had in his possession, an undisclosed amount of money, which he had wanted to use in buying a second farm land beside his farm off the Kaduna-Keffi Road at the time he was killed. “His attackers, who were said to have gotten pre-knowledge of the said transaction, were said to have staged a robbery attack with the intention of dispossessing him of the money.
“The gunmen were seven in number when they accosted the ex-CDS, some of them were putting on military uniforms while others were on mufti. They set up a roadblock and when the ex-CDS got to their location, they flagged him down and the driver refused to stop and they started shooting at the vehicle. They injured his driver, killed the General and kidnaped his friend known as Engr. Joseph.
“The gunmen made away with the money in the General’s possession. It’s quite surprising that his military escort following him behind refused to fight back when they attacked the General,” a source told one of our correspondents. Sources in Nasarawa State explained that Badeh became a victim of the attack because the man who owned the farm land he had wanted to buy asked the former CDS to bring the cash back the following day to Keffi town because of safety.
“Unknown to these men, one of the middlemen in this transaction had contacted Fulani bandits/kidnappers to attack and rob whoever was in possession of that money, hence they waited in the bush along the Keffi-Kaduna road for the jeep carrying the money to come. “The middleman has been in the transaction from the inception and he was aware that Badeh was going to pay in cash,” the source said. The Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, had immediately after the incident ordered operatives at the IRT, Special Tactical Squad (STS) and the Nasarawa State Police Command to fish out Badeh’s killers. Consequently, a crack team of operatives was deployed to the forest along Kaduna-Keffi Road between Zango-Gitata and Tudun-Uku Area, to fish out the killers.
The killers were believed to be Fulani bandits terrorizing that area. The former CDS was killed on December 18, by unknown gunmen, on his way back from his farm located along the Abuja-Keffi road. This was as facts had emerged that the suspected assassins, who shot dead the late retired four-star General, spared his security details, who were said to be four in number. New Telegraph had reported exclusively, that the ex-CDS’ driver, whose identity could not be confirmed as at the time of filing this report, was shot in the arm, and is currently receiving treatment at Nigeria Air Force hospital in Abuja. However, the former CDS’ farm manager and engineer, who was abducted during the attack, has since been released, after ransom running into millions was said to have been paid.
Consequent upon the killing, President Muhammadu Buhari had ordered a comprehensive investigation and arrest of suspects. The President’s directive was conveyed in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina. According to Adesina: “Noting that the late Mr Badeh, who was also a former Chief of Air Staff, attained professional fulfillment in his over three decades military career, President Buhari regrets that he fell victim to incidence of violent and fatal attacks on the nation’s highways. “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.”
Culled from Telegraph
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