President Muhammed Buhari war against corruption has not been going on without doubts in the minds of Nigerians to the effect that he may not be waging any genuine anti-graft war in the country. This is even as the Economic & Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) under Ibrahim Magu is being seen as being biased and selective in carrying out its duties. Many feel that, what PMB is doing in the name or under the guise of anti-graft war is to select his personal and political enemies or those he perceived to pose threats to his over bearing rule and hand them over to the cat’s paw-EFCC to insult, publicly disgrace, humiliate, embarrass, persecute, witch hunt and later brand as PROSECUTION FOR CORRUPTION.
To me, it was just a way of beautifying impunity. This is when you peep into such cases like the detention of Alex Samundu Badeh, erstwhile chief of defence Staff, CDS. What justification will PMB give for punishing Alex Badeh who suffered severe personal and family losses to insurgency and the reinstatement of the Army Divisional Commander whose naïve and obstinate directives led to the ambushing and wastage of many patriotic and dedicated Nigerian army officers?
The untidy manner, lack of due diligence, seeming media trial, inconsistency in allegations, desperation for new allegations, prolonged detention, near impossible bail conditions for the former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Sabundu Badeh by EFCC underscores the prevailing opinion in the country that Nigeria is now be heading for civilian dictatorship, who uses state apparatus like EFCC to harass and flog to submission anybody likely to raise a valid eyebrow to the oppression of Nigerian citizens under different guises.
Recently, Justice Halilu of the High Court of Abuja Federal Capital Territory, had cause to slam and berate the EFCC for turning itself into a “Police Station” and a cog in the wheel of the rights of crime suspects, when the Judge was ordering for the immediate release of former President Jonathan’s ADC, Col Ojogbane Adegbe from EFCC’S dungeon.
As a matter of fact, PMB, EFCC and Nigerian State have been outrageously unfair to Alex Sabundu Badeh, who had served his fatherland meritoriously and by dint of hard work rose to the positions of Chief of Air Force and Chief of Defence Staff respectively and who suffocated the insurgents during his tenure, before he left office.
Assuming there are genuine cases against Badeh, what is wrong in arresting him today and arraigning him in the court the next day as stipulated by law and allow him to face the court and challenge the allegations. Abinitio, there appears to be the working of a conspiracy theory to nail Badeh and others the regimes possibly hates their faces.
The Probe Panel to investigate the so called $2.1billion was a kangaroo one because the Panel for one day did not invite the so called indicted people for clarification. The much the Panel did was to sit and find PMB’s enemies guilty of fraud. This jegune justice by the Kangaroo Panel will surely not pass the litmus test of Nigerian judicial firework.
The poor and unprofessional handling of Badeh’s case by EFCC is very suspicious and curious. Badeh, a patriot and faithful Nigerian promptly, quickly and willingly turned himself to EFCC for questioning and had severally thundered his willingness to co-operate with EFCC on any matter bordering his role as Public Officer. Why has he been kept in EFCC dungeon since February 8th, 2015 without arraigning him to court and without any evidence of linking him to any irresponsible utterance or conduct that may warrant his long detention if not that the Nigerian State wanted the humiliation of citizen Badeh. Even when Badeh went to court to challenge his detention, EFCC used the backdoor and obtained a black market detention order against him from a Magistrate court.
Why EFCC rushing of Badeh from Abuja to Lagos under the guise of searching the laundered properties by Badeh when the so-called anti-graft Agency was not sure of its facts. The worse aspect of this was that EFCC dramatized the Abuja-Lagos movement as if it was concrete and genuine when in actual fact EFCC recorded zero point in it except the tarnishing and damaging of the good personal and family name, gallantry aviation reputation and distinguished public officer’s record of Badeh.
The disturbing aspect of the entire drama is that the initial allegations for his invitation bordering on procurement of used aircrafts and uniforms and breaches of Procurement Act had been watered down with the new allegations of money laundering in properties as contained in the 10 charges preferred against him by EFCC. The whole episode appears to be an orchestrated plan to nail or manufacture allegations to nail Badeh at all cost.
Left for EFCC, they would have allowed Badeh to rust in detention knowing his precarious health conditions, but the public opprobrium generated against EFCC for the terrible handling of Badeh made the anti-graft Agency to pretentiously charge him to court and the drama of the entire sham continues in the court as we hear contradictory stories on the presence or otherwise of the judge to handle the matter.
So far, EFCC had preferred a 10 count charge of money laundering against him, further accusing him of removing N3.9billion from the accounts of the Nigerian Air Force between January-December 2013. Badeh had quickly replied denying the corruption allegations against him and accusing the Federal Government of persecution. This is an interesting case which the court will decide in due course but the oppressive manner EFCC handled it made it highly shocking to sane minds. I think Ibrahim Magu is brutalizing people brought before him to appease the oppressive appetites of his master so that his appointment will be confirmed since he is on acting capacity in EFCC.
From Abuja to Lagos and from Lagos back to Abuja, from one allegation to entirely different allegations, etc. Who is sure that EFCC has strong points against Badeh? From the beginning EFCC appears to be unsure of what it is saying against Badeh and that will be the alibi of EFCC in the law court if Badeh’s lawyers work very hard.
In the next few months, we shall be watching the fate of a Defence czar and icon who strongly defended his country against the dreaded Boko Haram menace and a well-tested pilot who successfully piloted series of aircrafts without any hitch conveying top government functionaries including Heads of States and top dignitaries and diplomats on local and international official assignments from 1992 to 2004 when he was a member of the Presidential fleet. As Chief of Air Staff and Chief of Defence Staff, Badeh got many national and international accolades for the military & Nigeria respectively through numerous professional exploits.