The family members of the immediate past Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh (retd.), may miss his burial as they remain on the watch list of the Department of State Services and the Nigeria Immigration Service.
Badeh’s widow, Mary Iya Badeh, and his two sons, Alex (jnr) and Kam have been in the United States since 2016 following his prosecution by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
A family friend of the Badehs told our correspondent that it was unlikely if they would come.
He said, “I have spoken with them and I don’t know for now if they will be coming but it is highly unlikely. Their father has just been killed under controversial circumstances and the government has not removed them from the watch list. If they return and their passports are seized and they are not allowed to return, it would be a double tragedy.
“Everybody is still in shock so we cannot say for now if they will be coming but since they are Christians, there is no rush. A lot can happen before then.”
A prosecution witness, Abubakar Madaki, had told a Federal High Court sitting in Maitama that Badeh’s wife and two of his children were being investigated for offences with which the ex-Chief of Air Staff was charged.
Madaki said the three of them, however, escaped to the United States before the investigation was concluded.
He said all attempts to get them arrested turned out to be futile.
The witness had said, “At the initial stage, when we started the investigation, we invited Alex Badeh (Jnr.) who lives in 19 Kumasi Crescent, Abuja, one of the properties, among the properties earlier mentioned.
“He happened to be a son of the first defendant (Badeh). He claimed to be a tenant in that property and since an investigation was ongoing at the preliminary stage, we allowed him to go and come back when we had enough issues to question him about.
“He left and never came back. We later got to know that he has left the country for America.
“We were also looking for Mary Iya Badeh, the wife of the first defendant, who is one of the directors in the second defendant (Iyalikam Nigeria Limited).
“The second defendant (Iyalikam) had received so much funds from the alleged funds we are investigating.
“She too, according to the investigation has left the country for America. Kam Badeh (another of Badeh’s son) is one of the directors in one of the companies.
“We have gone round the locations that we had information that he does business, but we are unable to get him.
“Since the information was that they left through the International Airport, we wrote a letter to the Nigerian Immigration Service and the Department of Security Service to watch them. But we have not been able to get them.”
He said when his team concluded investigation in the case, it “discovered that the first defendant (Badeh) and his wife had earlier incorporated a company Iyalikam Nigeria Limited” in whose accounts they allegedly diverted the Nigerian Air Force’s funds.