By Ifeanyi Okoli
Details emerged yesterday on how operatives of the Inspector General of Police Special Intelligence Response Team IRT, trailed and arrested two confirmed suspects who took part in the gruesome murder of former Chief of Defense Staff, Vice Air Marshal, Alex Badeh (RTD) who they attacked penultimate Tuesday on his way home from his farm on the Kaduna-Keffi Expressway, Nasarawa State.
The suspects had confessed that they attacked the ex-CDS convoy because they had pre-knowledge that he was in possession of an undisclosed amount of money which he had intended to use in purchasing a second farmland not far from the one he had. The suspects had revealed that one of their gang members who was part of the middle-men negotiating for land gave them the tip-off, implying that the General was returning to Abuja with the said money as the owner of the land had refused to accept cash after their negations fearing he could be robbed since he had no armed protection.
The suspects also revealed in their confessions that the ex-CDS’s Nigeria Air Force escorts who were in a vehicle behind his Toyota Tundra truck, didn’t stage a fight back at the time they attacked his convoy. The suspects said the escorts reversed their vehicle and pulled out of the scene, adding that they found the injured General gasping for breath when they approached his vehicle to collect the money, as well as to kidnap his farm manager, Eng. Joseph.
Meanwhile, police sources revealed that prior to the order of Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to his operatives at the IRT, Special Tactical Squad, STS and the Nasarawa State Police Command to fish out killers of the ex-CDS and rescue his kidnapped farm manager, operatives of the IRT, led by Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari, had been on the trail of members of the gang who have been terrorizing businessmen, mostly cattle owners and as well as robbing and kidnapping motorists on the Kaduna- keffi Expressway. It was gathered that two weeks before the ex-CDS was killed, a team of IRT operatives had a shootout with members of the gang at a spot where they mounted a road-block, on the Kaduna-Keffi expressway, using military uniforms waiting to kidnap or rob their-would-be victims.
Saturday Vanguard gathered yesterday that after the ex-CDS was attacked and killed, news went into town that the same Fulani bandits who have been terrorizing the state were responsible for the attack. Some Fulani businessmen who were in contact with the IRT quickly gave them a tip-off and the operatives had no reason to look elsewhere for their targets.
A source in Nasarawa State who spoke to Vanguard on the condition of anonymity said; “after they killed the General we got information within the Fulani Community here in Nasarawa State that it was the same boys who have been terrorizing us for a long time that carried out the attack
We quickly sent words to Abba Kyari, after he visited the scene not to look far for the attackers since we knew who they were. They have robbed a lot of us of our money and cows over the years and they are daring to do more. Since we have good rapport with Kyari, we asked him to bring his men to Keffi, where we have learned some of his boys come to relax after their operations. We also learned that the commander refused to allow the boys share the money they robbed from the General and he only shared N25,000 each to them.
Some of our boys had infiltrated their gang and they had made friends with them, the moment, we got information that one of the gang members, Shuaibu Rabi, left their camp inside the forest into Keffi Town, we alerted the IRT men and they apprehended him in a petrol station in Keffi town. Rabi was the person who led the operatives to arrest his accomplice known as Churuma who fired the shot that killed the general. We are grateful to God that the Police cooperated with us in arresting these boys who have made life a hell for us. We hope that more of them will arrested.” He stated