Air Chief Marshall Retd Alex Badeh has been remanded in Kuje prison, in the capital city Abuja. More than $1m in cash was also reportedly found at one of his homes.
Air Marshall Alex Badeh is accused of using money allocated for the air force to buy a mansion and to build a shopping mall Nigeria’s former chief of defence staff has pleaded not guilty to charges of fraud, criminal breach of trust and money laundering
Air Marshall Alex Badeh appeared at the federal high court in the capital, Abuja, where he denied allegations that he used money allocated for Nigeria’s air force to buy a mansion and a commercial plot of land and to build a shopping mall.
Badeh was appointed Chief Of defence by former President Goodluck Jonathan when the military was coming under sustained criticism over its fight against Boko Haram militants.
however, the front-line troops complained that they were ill-equipped to fight the militants and discipline in the army was breaking down as soldiers refused to carry out orders.
The prosecution allege that a total of $2bn (£1.3bn) meant to buy arms to fight Boko Haram had gone missing.
The former National Security Adviser, Col(retd.) Sambo Dasuki, was charged in December in connection with the case involving $68m that is alleged to be missing. He was accused of awarding phantom contracts to buy helicopters, fighter jets and ammunition, which he denied. He was appointed chief of air staff in 2013 and promoted to chief of defence staff in 2014.
Twelve other senior Nigerian army officers were handed over to the anti-corruption agency in February for their alleged involvement in the arms scandal.
Badeh is the latest in a string of senior figures who served under the former president Goodluck Jonathan to face graft charges in court.
He was appointed chief of air staff in 2013 and promoted to chief of defence staff in 2014. He was sacked along with the heads of the army, navy and air force two months after Jonathan’s successor, Muhammadu Buhari, took office last year.
Photo: Getty Images
ALex Badeh Nigeran ex-defence chief: Accused of stealing $20 million meant for arms purchase
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission said Badeh and a company in 2013 used the “dollar equivalent of the sum of 1.1bn naira removed from the accounts of the Nigerian air force to purchase for yourselves a mansion” in Abuja’s upmarket Maitama district.
Among the other nine charges, all of which were denied by Badeh, were allegations that he and the company used the dollar equivalent of 650m naira from air force funds to buy a commercial plot of land, and a further 1.2bn naira “for the construction of a shopping mall”.
Badeh was remanded in custody until his bail application hearing, which will take place on Thursday.