CLOSE-UP: Alex Badeh, a Nigerian commander who flew two former US presidents, UN top officials and fought two wars

Alex Badeh, Nigeria's former Chief of Defence staff was assassinated barely a month to his 62nd birthday anniversary.

Alex Badeh, a former Chief of Defence staff during his pull out ceremony in 2015.
  • Alex Badeh was assassinated while returning from his farm along Abuja-Keffi Road on Tuesday.
  • During his service, Alex Badeh flew two former United States presidents, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter on different occasions.
  • He fought two wars for his country as Chief of Defence Staff.

Diverse views and opinion across social media on Tuesday as the Nigerian Air Force announced the death of former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh.

Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, Director of Public Relations and Information NAF Headquarters, made this known in a series of tweets on Tuesday, December 18, 2018.

According to Daramola’s tweets, Alex Badeh died from gunshot wounds sustained when his vehicle was attacked while returning from his farm along Abuja-Keffi Road earlier in the day.

On behalf of officers, airmen and airwomen of the Nigerian Air Force, the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Abubakar, commiserates with the family of the late former Chief of Defence Staff over this irreparable loss. We pray that the Almighty God grants his soul eternal rest,” Daramola tweeted.

Who is Alex Badeh?

Alex Sabundu Badeh is a retired four-star flag officer of the Nigerian Airforce who served as the 18th Chief of Air Staff and the 15th Chief of Defence Staff of the armed forces of Nigeria.

He was born in Vimtim, a little town in Mubi Local Government Area of Adamawa State, North East Nigeria into a family of peasant farmers.

A presidential fleet commander who flew two US presidents, and UN officials

Between 2002 and 2004, while serving as Commander of Presidential Air Fleet PAF during President Olusegun Obasanjo's second term in office, Alex Badeh flew two former United States presidents, Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter on different occasions after an extensive check was done on him by the US secret service.

During the period, Badeh as commander of the Air Fleet also flew world leaders, VIPs and top Heads of State across the world including former UN secretary general, Kofi Annan.

He rose to the position of Chief of Air Staff in 2012 and Chief of Defence Staff all during the Goodluck Jonathan's presidency.

Fought two wars

As Chief of Defence Staff, Alex Badeh fought two substantive wars for the country. Curtailing Militants in the South-South region of Niger Delta and Boko Haram terrorists in the North-eastern part of the country.

Fingered in $2.1 Billion Nigeria's arms deal scandal

In February 2016, Alex Badeh was accused of financial misappropriation by the anti-graft agency, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission during his tenure as service chief. In a tense message in March that year, Badeh accused the government of using the anti-graft agency to persecute him, denying involvement in the Sambo Dasuki alleged diversion of arm procurement funds for re-election bid of former president Goodluck Jonathan.

In October 2018, the anti-graft agency closed its case in N3.9 billion (about $10.7 million) money laundering lawsuit involving a former Chief of Air Staff, Alex Badeh (retd).

He was assassinated barely a month to his 62nd birthday anniversary.

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