A 51-year-old suspect, Jibrin Ibrahim, and 14 others were on Wednesday paraded by the Joint Investigative Panel comprising of representatives of the Defence Headquarters, the police and the Department of State Services, over the murder of former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh.
Two AK-47 rifles, two locally-made guns and other weapons were recovered from the suspects who confessed to collecting N2m ransom before releasing Badeh’s friend Joseph Okpetu, who was in the same vehicle during the attack. It was learnt that the sim card used in negotiating Okpetu’s release, belonged to 51-year-old Jibrin.
Usman, also known as Chiroma, said to be the gang leader who spoke to newsmen during the parade, revealed that he alongside 6 others attacked Badeh, whom they assumed to be a wealthy man and not a retired military officer. Recall that it was reported that Alex Badeh was shot dead by gunmen on December 18, 2018, while returning from his farm along the Abuja-Keffi Expressway in Nasarawa State.
Confessing to the attack, Usman said;
“It was a Friday and I came to the Gitata Market; I was the one who brought the job to the gang. I am a taxi driver. So, while I was driving to Panda village, in Nasarawa State, one Alhaji Maube Gani told me that there was one wealthy man, who owned a farm in that area and that we could make money from him. I told him I had never attacked any person in my life, but he said I should not worry.
“Then later on December 18, I drove my car out and Alhaji called me that the man had come to his farm as usual and that we should come to attack him. So, I called the other members and we met Alhaji in the Gitata area.
“At that stage of the operation, I did not know Badeh’s identity; none of us knew that the man was a military officer. There were seven of us, who participated in the operation. We just got to the road, shot the man and took away his friend.”
Also speaking to newsmen, Chairman of the Joint Investigation Committee, Maj. Gen. Bamidele Shafa, who stated that effort to arrest other members of the gang has intensified, disclosed that 20 suspects had been identified out of whom 15 had been arrested.
Shafa said, “After thorough investigation, the panel made the following findings; one, the attack and killing of ACM Alex Badeh was criminal and did not have any political undertone. Two, 20 persons were involved in the crime, out of which 15 have been arrested.
“The suspects in custody confessed to their direct involvement in the crime. They employed automatic weapons and locally-made guns in the killing of the air chief marshal. This was buttressed by the result of the autopsy and weapons recovered from the residences of the suspects.The suspects will be handed over to the appropriate agency for investigation and prosecution.”