A Special Court-Martial sitting in Abuja has sentenced six Nigerian Air Force personnel who were aides to gruesomely murdered late Air Force Chief, Marshal Alex Badeh.
Badeh was shot dead by gunmen along Abuja-Keffi Road while on his way back from his farm in December 2018. The Nigerian Police Force, operatives of the Department of State Services and the military had thereafter arrested about 14 suspects in connection with the murder, who confessed that they were on a robbery and kidnapping operation.
A statement released by the Director of Public Relations and Information of the Nigeria Air Force, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola in Saturday morning, said the convicted personnel namely Squadron Leader Tom Gwani, Flight Sergeant Amu David, Flight Sergeant Philemon Degema, Flight Sergeant Sabo Simon, Sergeant Mukhtar Abdullahi, and Sergeant Alfred Alexander, were attached to Badeh while he was alive.
While two of them were detailed for guard duty at his home, the other four were detailed to provide armed escort for late Badeh.
According to the statement, the six personnel were sent to jail for absconding while Badeh was under attack among other offenses. Although NAF did not specify their jail terms.
The Statement reads: “Six NAF personnel, who were aides to the former CDS were awarded various sentences by the GCM sitting at the NAF Base, Bill Clinton Drive, Abuja. The personnel were standing trial for various offenses. Delivering his judgment, the President of the GCM, Air Commodore David Aluku, pronounced the six accused personnel guilty of various charges.
“These included their failure toperform military duties, by absconding from the convoy of the deceased former CDS, while it came under attack, as well as conduct to the prejudice of service discipline, for giving false statements.
The charges against the accused also included other civil offences of criminal conspiracy and miscellaneous offences relating to property, for illegally disposing of 79 rounds of 5.56mm live ammunition issued for the protection of the late CDS, among others.
“While pleading in mitigation, the Defence Counsels urged the court to show leniency, describing the accused persons as first time offenders. The sentences were announced as being subject to confirmation by the Appropriate Superior Authority.”