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Former Nigerian defence chief remanded by court over corruption allegations

Former Nigerian defence chief remanded by court over corruption allegations

Nigeria

Nigeria’s federal High Court in Abuja has remanded into custody a former Chief of Defence Staff who is facing corruption charges.

Alex Badeh, 59, was arrested late in January for allegedly misappropriating 3.97 billion naira (17.9 million euros).

He was charged with ten counts of fraud, criminal breach of trust and money laundering by the federal high court.

Among the other nine charges, all of which Badeh has denied, were allegations that he and a company used the dollar equivalent of 650m naira from Air Force funds to buy a commercial plot of land, and a further 1.2 billion naira “for the construction of a shopping mall.”

Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) 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.

Badeh was appointed Chief of Air Staff in 2013 and then 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 president Buhari took office last year.

The former security chief was appointed at a time when the army was severely criticized for its seemingly laid back approach in fighting the Islamist group Boko Haram.

Alex Badeh had then promised to put a quick end to the Boko Haram insurgency which began in 2009. But during his tenure, Boko Haram seized large tracts of land in three states of the northeast.

Badeh was remanded in custody until his bail application hearing, which will take place on Thursday.

Former defence and finance ministers as well as the former national security adviser, who all served under Jonathan, have been charged with corruption offences in recent months. Former security adviser Sambo Dasuki denies any wrongdoing.

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