Six NAF personnel attached to ex-CDS Badeh jailed

Six Nigerian Air Force personnel attached to the former Chief of Defence Staff, Alex Badeh, were Friday sentenced to jail by a General Court Martial.

They were sentenced for conspiracy and illegally disposing service weapons issued for the protection of the late CDS, among others, the Punch newspaper reports.

According to the report, in a statement on Saturday, the Director of Public Relations and Information, Ibikunle Daramola, said the aides were sentenced before the president of the GCM, David Aluku, at the NAF Base, Bill Clinton Drive, Abuja.

Mr Aluku found the six guilty of absconding from the convoy of the former CDS, while it came under attack.

The convicted personnel are: Squadron Leader Tom Gwani, Flight Sergeant Amu David, Flight Sergeant Philemon Degema, Flight Sergeant Sabo Simon, Sergeant Mukhtar Abdullahi and Sergeant Alfred Alexander.

However, the statement did not indicate the number of charge counts levelled at the convicts and their jail terms but said “Six NAF personnel were awarded various sentences by the GCM.”

It added that four of the personnel were detailed to provide armed escort for the late CDS while the two others were detailed for guard duty at his house.

“The personnel were standing trial for various offences. Delivering his judgment, the President of the GCM, Air Commodore David Aluku, pronounced the six accused personnel guilty of various charges.

“These included their failure to perform military duties, by absconding from the convoy of the deceased former CDS, while it came under attack, as well as conduct to the prejudice of service discipline, for giving false statements.

“The charges against the accused also included other civil offences of criminal conspiracy and miscellaneous offences relating to property, for illegally disposing of 79 rounds of 5.56mm live ammunition issued for the protection of the late CDS, among others.

“While pleading in mitigation, the Defence Counsels urged the court to show leniency, describing the accused persons as first time offenders. The sentences were announced as being subject to confirmation by the Appropriate Superior Authority,” the Punch reported.

Mr Badeh served as the 18th Chief of Air Staff and the 15th Chief of Defence Staff of Nigeria.

He died from gunshot injuries he sustained after his vehicle was attacked by unknown gunmen along Abuja-Keffi road on December 18, 2018.

Several persons have been arrested in connection with the murder, who confessed that they were on a robbery and kidnapping operation.

However, at the time of his death, he was being prosecuted for an alleged N3.9 billion fraud he committed as the defence chief under former President Goodluck Jonathan.

In March, an Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, presided over by Okon Abang ordered the forfeiture of all properties belonging to the late Air Marshal to the federal government through the EFCC.