Judge’s Absence Stalls Trial Of Metuh, Badeh

Olisa Metuh and Alex BadehThe trial of the immediate past Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh and National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Olisa Metuh, have been stalled.

This followed the absence of the trial Judge, Justice Obong Abang, who is said to be at the Lagos Division of the court, from where he was transferred to Abuja.

No reason, however, was giving with regards to his trip to Lagos.

The prosecution witness, who had testified at the last sitting, was expected to be cross examine by counsel to the former defence chief.

The National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Mr Metuh, was expected to open his defence in the suit filed against him.

Both standing are trial for money laundering.

Trial in the two cases have been adjourned to the March 24, 2016.

Badeh’s Trial Adjourned Until March 16

Alex BadehTrial of Nigeria’s former Defence Chief, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, has been adjourned till March 16.

The adjournment was made to enable the defence study the additional proof of evidence served on them by the prosecution.

At the resumed hearing on Monday, the counsel to Air Chief Marshal Badeh, Mr Akinjide Olujimi, informed the court that he had just been hired by the accused person and would need time to be properly briefed before he could defend his client.

He also told the court that the prosecution just served him additional proof of evidence, which he needed to also study in the interest of justice and fairness before trial could commence.

The former Defence chief’s counsel had also filed a bail application, but the prosecuting counsel, Mr Rotimi Jacobs, urged the court to turn down the application on the ground that it was an attempt to scuttle the trial.

After consideration, the trail judge, Justice Okon Abang, turned down the bail application, on two other grounds.

He, however, said that there was merit in the request of the defence to study the additional proof of evidence to ensure that the law was fair to all sides in the matter.

Justice Abang adjourned the case to enable the defence study the additional proof of evidence.

Air Marshall Badeh is standing trial for alleged use of funds meant for the Nigeria Air Force to purchase choice property in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city.

According to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, he illegally used Six million Naira to renovate his son’s house, which he purchased for 260 million Naira in Abuja between January and December 2013.

The former Defence Chief is also alleged to have used 876 million Naira belonging to the Nigerian Air Force to build a shopping mall in Abuja.

Court Remands Badeh In Kuje Prison

alex badehA Federal High Court in Abuja has remanded a former Chief of Defence Staff in Nigeria, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, in Kuje Prison after he pleaded not guilty to a 10-count charge of money laundering. 

The court order came after an anti-graft agency, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), at Monday’s proceeding asked the court to remand the former Chief of Defence Staff.

But in an attempt to make a bail application, the counsel to Air Chief Marshal Badeh, drew the attention of the court to a motion for bail filed by his client on March 2.

The presiding judge, Justice Obong Abang, however, held that the motion was not competent, as the court could only exercises jurisdiction over an accused person when he is arraigned.

Justice Abang thereafter struck out the application for lack of merit, but obliged the request of the accused person’s lawyer to hear the bail application in the shortest possible time.

Meanwhile, the Director of Public Prosecution told the court that he would not be able to commence with the trial.

The trial judge then adjourned till March 19 to hear the bail application.

Air Chief Marshall Badeh is alleged to have used funds of the Nigeria Air Force to purchase choice property in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city.

According to the EFCC, he illegally used Six million Naira to renovate his son’s house, which he purchased for 260 million Naira in Abuja between January and December 2013.

The former Defence Chief is also alleged to have used 876 million Naira belonging to the Nigerian Air Force to build a shopping mall in  Abuja.

On March 4, a Federal High Court in Abuja turned down a fundamental rights enforcement application filed by Air Chief Marshal Badeh.

Mr Badeh in his application, sought the enforcement of his fundamental rights to liberty pending when the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) would be ready to charge him.

But the presiding judge, Justice James Tsoho, said that there was a subsisting withholding charge order by a Magistrate Court in Lagos, which gave the Anti-graft agency the right to detain him.

The former Chief of Defence Staff is facing a 10-count charge on money laundering and criminal breach of trust to the tune of 3.9 billion Naira.

Court Shifts Badeh’s Arraignment To March 7

Alex Badeh CDSThe Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has deferred the arraignment of the former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, till March 7.

This comes after the former Chief of Defence Staff was accused of diverting over 3.9 billion Naira from accounts of the Nigerian Air Force by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The court had earlier fixed Thursday, March 3, for Badeh to enter his plea to the 10-count criminal charge the EFCC preferred against him.

However, the case could not proceed as scheduled owing to the absence of the trial judge, Justice Abang Okon, who was said to have travelled out of jurisdiction.

The Adamawa State-born former military chief was appointed Chief of Defence Staff on January 16, 2014 by former President Goodluck Jonathan.

He was succeeded by General Abayomi Olonisakin on July 13, 2015.

Former Chief Of Defence Staff, Badeh Asks Court For Bail

Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh
Former Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh

A former Chief of Defence Staff in Nigeria, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, has asked the Federal High Court in Abuja, the nation’s capital, to grant him bail from detention.

Badeh is being held in Lagos by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission since February 8, 2016, when he was invited by the Anti-graft agency for questioning.

The application dated February 15, was brought pursuant to section 35(4) and section 36(5) of the Nigerian Constitution and sections 158, 162 and 165 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015.

At the Monday hearing, his lawyer, Mr Samuel Zibiri, asked the court for an order admitting him to bail on self-recognisance, or on such favourable and liberal terms as the court may deem fit to make in the circumstances of the case pending further investigation by the respondent and/or arraignment before the court.

Mr Zibiri said the application was based on the grounds that the applicant voluntarily went to the office of the EFCC on February 8 and was subsequently detained by the commission after several hours of interrogation. He claimed Mr Badeh was compelled to write a bulky statement.

He told the court that the detention of the former Chief of Defence Staff, under a remand order issued by a magistrate court in Lagos, “is a gross abuse of the ACJA 2015”.

The lawyer insisted that Mr Badeh should be granted bail because a Federal High Court was superior to the Magistrate Court.

He also said that the alleged case of fraud for which the applicant was invited is ordinarily bailable.

“There is no reason for, or any likelihood that the applicant will jump bail, escape from justice, interfere with witnesses or investigation if same is still ongoing, or the course of justice upon his being granted bail,” Mr Zibiri stated.

He also argued that the applicant’s health condition was bad and that he had recently undergone a surgery on his spine which required constant post-operative follow-up by his physician as well as renal condition which he was currently undergoing treatment for.

Minister Tasks Military To Remain Loyal To Constituted Authority

MaiduguriThe Minister of State for Defence, Col. Augustine Akobundu, has tasked the Nigerian Armed Forces to maintain its loyalty to constitutional authority, even as the current government begins to wind down.

The Minister during his maiden visit to the Defence headquarters also commended the military for its resourcefulness in tackling the insecurity in the country.

He urged the leadership of the armed forces to accord the incoming administration the same loyalty and support accorded previous administrations and the current administration.

On his part the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, maintained the loyalty of the armed forces rests with the constitution alone.

2015 Elections: Naval Officers Tasked On Political Stability

Nigeria Navy on ElectionsOfficials of the Nigerian Navy have been asked to guard against aligning with politicians to avoid being used as tools of political instability during the general elections that are few days away.

The demand was made on Saturday by the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, at the passing out parade of Direct Short Service Commission Course 22 Cadets into the Navy at the Nigerian Naval College Onne.

Air Chief Marshal Badeh reviewed the officers at the passing out parade which had the full complement of senior officers of the Nigerian Navy led by the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Usman Jibrin.

The Chief of Defence Staff told the officers to stay committed to the call to uphold the ideals of national security, especially as the nation prepares for elections.

Other persons at the event were family and friends of the newly admitted naval officers and guests.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Navy has expressed its commitment to ensuring adequate security of lives and properties of Nigerians travelling by sea, to exercise their franchise during the elections.

The Navy gave the assurance, just as the Eastern Naval Command embarked on a show of force along the Calabar water ways, in preparation to support the Independent National Electoral Commission in handling and distribution of electoral materials.

Speaking to reporters after the seven kilometre exercise on the high sea, the representative of the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Rear Admiral Atiku Abubakar, said, the essence of the trip before the elections was to allow personnel practice the act of providing security in the nation’s waters.

 

Military Denies Mass Burial For Nigerian Soldiers

MutinyThe Nigerian military has denied claims that officers who died in the course of the fight against insurgency have been discreetly buried in mass graves.

The Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, and the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen Kenneth Minimah, denied the claim while fielding questions from journalists at a press briefing organised by the Minister of Defence, Lt. Gen Aliyu Gusau, on the 2015 Armed Forces Remembrance Day Celebration in Abuja on Tuesday.

He also explained that the dead soldiers are given full military burial rites with their next of kin in attendance.

However, the Minister of Defence, refused to comment on the state of the counter terrorism operations as well as the controversial seizure of cash from Nigerians in South Africa.

Lt. Gen. Gusau (rtd) said the Armed Forces Remembrance Day is an opportunity to appreciate the efforts of the Nigerian soldiers, who have paid the ultimate price for the nation.

The military hierarchy also promised to address the non-payment of pension arrears of retired military officers, who recently staged a protest in the nation’s capital over the non-payment of their outstanding pension.

Nigerian, Cameroonian Militaries Hold Bilateral Parley On Operation Against Terror

TerrorA bilateral defence meeting between Nigeria and Cameroon is scheduled to commence on Wednesday at the Defence Headquarters in Abuja.

This is in furtherance of various international contacts by Nigeria in the efforts to stamp out the scourge of terrorism in the sub-region.

According to a statement by the Director, Defence Information, Major-General Chris Olukolade, the three-day meeting which is being hosted by Nigeria’s Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, would have in attendance his Cameroonian counterpart and his country’s military delegation.

The forum which is a follow-up to previous international and regional meetings to foster a common ground in the fight against insurgency and terrorism is to fashion out ways of strengthening the existing working relationship and cooperation between the two Armed Forces in the war against terror in the West African sub-region.

The bilateral talk is expected to advance the collaboration to contain the activities of terrorists in the two countries through coordinated military operations along the borders.

The meeting between the two countries is coming at the heels of a similar parley of foreign ministers of Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Benin Republic held earlier in the week on appropriate legal framework for cross border military operations against the Boko Haram terrorists in the region.

CNN, Al Jazeera Lied About ‘Supposed’ Chibok Girls’ Escape – Badeh

Alex-BadehThe Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, has accused foreign media houses including, the Cable News Network (CNN) and Al Jazeera, of fabricating stories on the abducted Chibok girls during their crew’s visit to Nigeria in May.

Speaking during a workshop on Security/Media Relations in Crisis Management in Abuja, the Air Chief Marshal said “we know Isha Sesay of CNN, (Nima) Elbagir of CNN and another one from Al Jazeera, interviewed the supposed Chibok girls that escaped; they were speaking Hausa and these are girls that were going to write SSCE. Those ones cannot be those Chibok girls” adding, “they didn’t show us their faces so that we will know.

“Certainly those were not the girls that were taken from that school”, he insisted.

Over 200 Chibok girls were abducted from their schools’ dormitory by members of the Boko Haram sect after an attack on the Chibok Community on April 14.

They have not yet been rescued.

The Defence Chief also said that there was no going back on the conviction of the 12 soldiers found guilty of mutiny last month.

“When we took the oath to become soldiers, we took oath to defend Nigeria with everything we have. Your own is to first obey.

“We condemned them to death. We did not make the laws. The National Assembly made the laws and it is there in the books. People are saying no you cannot do that. Why won’t we do it?” he questioned.

According to him, the reactions over the sentencing of the military personnel could force the military to consider holding field court martial in the bush, after which military personnel sentenced would be killed instantly and buried in the bush.

Military Says Girls In Videos Alleged To Have Escaped From Abductors Are Not Chibok Girls

Alex_BadehThe Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, has said that the girls showed in videos in May by foreign media and alleged to have escaped from members of the Boko Haram sect that abducted them in April were not the abducted Chibok schoolgirls.

Air Chief Marshal Badeh spoke in a meeting on Wednesday with media and security agencies held in Abuja.

He questioned the covering of the faces of the girls by the foreign if they were the schoolgirls said to have been abducted.

According to him, some foreign press interviewed some girls they claimed were some Chibok schoolgirls that escaped from the Boko Haram members.

“They were speaking Hausa and these are girls that were going to write SSCE. Those ones cannot be those Chibok girls and they did not show us their faces so that we will know.

“Certainly, those were not the girls that were taken from that school. I think we need to shine our eyes,” Air Chief Marshal Badeh said.

The over 200 Chibok girls were abducted from their schools’ dormitory by members of the Boko Haram sect after an attack on the Chibok community on April 14. They have not yet been rescued.

The defence chief also said that there was no going back on the conviction of 12 soldiers found guilty of mutiny last month.

“When we took the oath to become soldiers, we took oath to defend Nigeria with everything we have. Your own is to first obey.
“We condemned them to death. We did not make the laws. The National Assembly made the laws and it is there in the books. People are saying no-no you cannot do that. Why won’t we do it?” He questioned.

According to him, the reactions over the sentencing of the military personnel could force the military to consider holding field court martial in the bush, after which military personnel sentenced would be killed instantly and buried in the bush.

NASS Leadership To Meet Jonathan Over Ending Insurgency In North East

boko-haram-take-over-yobeThe Chairman of the Senate Committee on Defence, Sen. George Sekibo, on Thursday said the National Assembly will have to meet with President Goodluck Jonathan to ensure a speedy resolution to the insurgency in the country.

“We are also going to make attempts to reach out to Mr. President and directly dialogue with him on certain grey areas, to enable us smoothen them properly, so that we will encourage both the Service Chiefs and those at the war front”, he said.

This was one of the decisions taken by a joint committee of the National Assembly on Defence after a 5-hour joint meeting with service chiefs led by the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh.

The lawmaker however said that they have been told by the Military that the “story will be different” in one or two place where the insurgents have flown their flags  “very soon.”

According to him more equipment have been procured to fight the insurgents, adding that soldiers’ morale, which was said to have been low, is now been boosted by the recent activities of the Presidency to address the issue.

“We have been informed that the soldiers’ morale was very low, but today, we found out that things are being done to reassure all those at the war front and to ensure that their morals are raised.

“We’ve heard stories of towns being captured and our armed forces being withdrawn, that is why we invited the CDS to get first hand information.

“From this meeting, it’s not as speculated. We have one or two places that the insurgents have a stronghold, but within few days, the Nigerian Armed Forces will take them back,” Sekibbo said.

“We’ll report our outcome to both chambers,” he added.