Indications emerged yesterday evening that the former Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Air Chief Marshall Alex Badeh (rtd), will be guest of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission today.
LEADERSHIP learnt that the anti-graft agency, which is investigating allegations of diversion of $2.1bn arms procurement fund from the office of the National Security Adviser, under Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), sent an invitation to Air Marshall Badeh on Monday.
EFCC, according to the notice sent to the retired Air Force general, is expected to explain certain activities that allegedly took place in the Armed Forces on his watch.
Sources close to Badeh said upon the receipt of the EFCC letter on Monday, Badeh promptly directed his personal aides to make arrangements for his visit to the Commission’s office this morning, as requested by the anti-graft agency.
The former CDS will be visiting the EFCC from his house where he has been since he left office.
Badeh was the 18th Chief of Air Staff from October 4, 2012 to January 16, 2014 when he was promoted to the office of Chief of Defence Staff. He was retired from the military by President Muhammadu Buhari last year.
His successor as Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu (rtd), has been in EFCC custody since Wednesday night, when he was arrested for questioning over allegations of arbitrary award of arms procurement contracts.
Badeh, who has maintained a low profile in the face recent allegations, had said he was being deliberately framed up by people whose toes he might have stepped upon while in office.
Upon receiving the interim report released by a 13-man presidential panel set up to audit arms procurements between 2007 and 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari ordered the EFCC to conduct further investigation on some former and serving senior military officers indicted by the panel.
Other retired and serving officers being probed by EFCC besides Amosu and Badeh are: Air Marshal M.D. Umar (rtd) and Badeh’s predecessor as Chief of Air Staff; Maj- Gen. E.R. Chioba (rtd), AVM I.A. Balogun (rtd), AVM A.G. Tsakr (rtd), AVM A.G. Idowu (rtd), AVM A.M. Mamu, AVM O.T. Oguntoyinbo, and AVM T. Omenyi.
Others are: AVM J.B. Adigun, AVM R.A. Ojuawo, AVM J.A. Kayode-Beckley, Air Cdre S.A. Yushau (rtd), Air Cdre A.O. Ogunjobi, Air Cdre G.M.D. Gwani, Air Cdre S.O. Makinde, Air Cdre A.Y. Lassa , Col N. Ashinze and Lt Col. M.S. Dasuki (rtd).
The head of media and publicity of the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, could not be reached for official comment.
Over N29 billion and $2 billion was expended on the procurement activities of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) alone between 2007 and 2015.
As Amosu’s predecessor and overall head of the military while in office, Badeh is expected to shed more light on the over 10 NAF contracts totalling $930,500,690 awarded to Societe D’ Equipments Internationaux (SEI) Nig Ltd. on his watch between January 2014 and February 2015.
The award letters, according to the arms probe panel, contained misleading delivery dates, suggesting fraudulent intent in the award process.
Operatives are also to grill him over the procurement of two used Mi- 24V Helicopters instead of the recommended Mi- 35M series at the cost of $136,944,000. The helicopters were discovered to be excessively overpriced and not operationally airworthy at the time of delivery.
The arms probe panel established that a brand new unit of Mi-24V helicopter goes for about $30 million. More worrisome is the discovery that the helicopters were delivered without rotor blades and upgrade accessories.
Air Chief Marshall Badeh is also to account for the procurement of four used Alpha-Jets for NAF at the cost of $7,180,000. Whereas NAF paid for four used Alpha-Jets, the panel confirmed that only two of the Alpha-Jet aircraft were ferried to Nigeria after cannibalisation of engines from NAF fleet.
This is contrary to the written assertion of Amosu to the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki, that all the four procured Alpha-Jets aircraft were delivered to NAF.
Also, EFCC is investigating the procurement of 36D6 Low Level Air Defence Radar for NAF which was awarded to GAT Techno Dynamics Ltd in April 2014 at the cost of $33 million on his watch. The arms panel averred that the radars were excessively overpriced as a complete set of such radars goes for $6 million.
Badeh will also to shed light on the $3.3 million fraudulently included in the contract agreement as VAT and Withholding Tax and subsequently paid into the bank accounts of Spacewebs Interservices Ltd and Delfina Oil and Gas Ltd.
It was established that $2 million from the proceeds was transferred to Mono Marine Corporation Nig Ltd, which is jointly owned by some principal characters in the deals.
“While it is impossible to say any human is perfect, we believe some of the allegations – as contained in the order directing EFCC to probe Badeh and others – are particularly strange to those of us who worked with him,” one of the military sources said.
ICC confirms receipt of Falana’s petition against Dasuki, Iweala
The International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague, the Netherlands, has confirmed receiving the petition send to it by human rights activist, Femi Falana (SAN), over the alleged diversion of $8 billion meant for the procurement of arms to fight the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria.
This information is contained in a letter dated 1 February 2016 with reference: OTP-CR-32/16 and signed by Mark P. Dillon, Head of Information & Evidence Unit of the ICC sent to Falana by the court.
The letter reads in part: “The Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court acknowledges receipt of your documents/letter. This communication has been duly entered in the Communications Register of the Office. We will give consideration to this communication, as appropriate, in accordance with the provisions of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.”
Falana had, in a petition dated 19 January 2016, requested the ICC to “investigate allegations of crimes against humanity committed against the Nigerian people by some former and serving military officers as well public officials and private persons who engaged in the criminal diversion of $8 billion earmarked to procure equipment for the armed forces to fight insurgency”.
Specifically Fanala want the ICC to investigate what he termed allegations of crimes against humanity committed against the Nigerian people by former and serving military officials as well as public officials and private persons who were said to have diverted the money.
He urged the court to invite representatives of the Nigerian government to provide written or oral testimony at the seat of the Court, so that the Prosecutor is able to conclude on the basis of available information whether there is a reasonable basis for an investigation, and to submit a request to the Pre-Trial Chamber for authorization of an investigation.
Falana further asked the ICC to urge the Nigerian government to fulfil its obligations under the Rome Statute to cooperate with the court; including complying with requests to arrest and surrender suspected perpetrators of the criminal diversion of security fund, testimony, and provide other support to the ICC.
PMB sends more names of army officers to EFCC
President Muhammadu Buhari has forwarded more names of Army officers, both serving and retired, to Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in connection with the $2.1billion arms fund investigation.
LEADERSHIP gathered last night that this set of soldiers whose names were sent to the anti-graft agency are those who, of late, may have been indicted by the presidential committee set up by the president to investigate and fish out those involved in shady deals in the procurement of arms during the last administration.
A source at the EFCC told our correspondent last night that the revelations by the immediate past Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu, who is presently being detained at the commission’s office in Abuja, are assisting in identifying some of the officers allegedly involved in the arms purchase scandal.