THE Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has detained Alex Badeh, a air chief marshal and immediate past chief of Defence Staff, in connection with the ongoing probe of the $2.1bn arms purchase scam.
Badeh, who arrived at the EFCC office around 10am on Monday, February 8, did not get out even as at 10pm in the evening.
The former defence chief had visited the commission on Thursday, February 4, but was asked to report to the agency’s office on Monday.
It was gathered that the commission had assembled two teams of the EFCC operatives to interrogate the former chief of defence staff at about 10.30am.
Badeh was asked to account for contracts awarded by the Nigeria Air Force when he was the chief of defence staff.
Reports said that contracts totalling $930,500,690.00 were awarded by the military under the leadership of Badeh.
The money is said to be part of the $2.1bn, which was under the control of Sambo Dasuki, retired colonel and former national security adviser.
A senior official of the EFCC said: “The ex-CDS reported for interrogation and we have been grilling him in the last eight hours on some of the contracts executed with over $2.1billion.
“He is having audience with one of the panels we raised to interact with those military chiefs invited. We confronted Badeh with some documents, including letters to the ex-NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), demanding the procurement of some military equipment.”
Badeh was also questioned on the non-specification of procurement costs, absence of contract agreements, award of contracts beyond authorised thresholds, transfer of public funds for unidentified purposes and general non-adherence with provisions of the Public Procurement Act.
The source also said that it was unlikely that Badeh would be released on Monday.
Meanwhile, the EFCC has obtained repeated holding charge to keep Adesola Amosu, a retired air marshal and a former chief of Air Staff, and some senior officers of the Nigerian Air Force in its custody.
Apart from Amosu, others being investigated are Mohammed D. Umar, retired air marshal and a former chief of Air Staff; A. M. Mamu, retired air vice-marshal, AVM, and former chief of Administration; O.T. Oguntoyinbo, retired AVM and former director of Production, Defence Headquarters; R.A. Ojuawo, AVM and Air Officer, Tactical Air Command, Makurdi; J.B. Adigun, AVM and former chief of Accounts and Budgeting in NAF; and J. A. Kayode-Beckley, AVM and director, Armament Research in Air Force Research and Development Centre; T. Omenyi, AVM and MD, NAF Holdings as well as four senior officers at the Defence Headquarters.
A top operative of the EFCC said on Monday that the legal department of the commission had approached the court to obtain an extension of the holding charge for Amosu and other military officers in its custody.
— Feb 9, 2016 @ 13:50 GMT