Former Chief of Defense Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh (rtd), on Monday asked a Federal High Court in Abuja to grant him bail from detention to attend to his deteriorating health.
Mr. Badeh made this plead through his legal team led by Chief J.K. Gadzama, SAN and Samuel Zibiri, SAN, who told the court that his health has deteriorated badly owing to his continued detention.
By the application which dated February 15, and brought pursuant to Section 35(4) and Section 36(5) of the 1999 Constitution and Sections 158, 162 and 165(1) (2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, Zibiri pleaded with the court for an order admitting him to bail on self recognizance, or on such favorable 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 this court.
Zibiri also said the application was based on the grounds that the applicant voluntarily went on the invitation to the office of the respondent (EFCC), on the 8th of February, and was subsequently detained by the respondent after several hours of interrogation.
He argued that the alleged case of fraud, for which his client was invited, was 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 being granted bail. The applicant has no criminal antecedent or records.
“The applicant, owing to his status in the society, can be granted bail on self recognizance or in the most liberal of terms, as he will be available to attend any invitation by the respondents at all times. That the applicant’s health condition is bad and he recently had surgery on his spine which requires constant post-operative follow-up by his physician as well as renal condition, which he is currently undergoing treatment for.”
The lawyer representing the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Cosmas Ugwu, who opposed the application, told the court that Badeh had not made any effort to fulfill the administrative bail granted him by the EFCC in Lagos.
He also informed the court that Badeh was being held under a remand order issued by a Lagos Magistrate Court because he was fingered in the alleged NIMASA fraud scandal.
“He is in custody in Lagos; Abuja is not holding him; so, the convenient court to grant the applicant bail is a court within the same territorial jurisdiction.”
Reports had it that Badeh’s lawyers had earlier written a letter to Abubakar Malami, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, making allegations against the anti-graft agency.
They expressed surprise at the sudden change in the story by Ibrahim Magu, the Chairman of the EFCC, who had earlier given his words that Badeh would be immediately released. They also noted that the anti-graft agency is aware of the health challenges faced by the former chief, adding that managing such ailments while in detention may further worsen his health.
The former Chief of Defense Staff was arrested by the EFCC operatives on February 8 over his alleged involvement in the $2.1 billion arms procurement scandal and has since then been in custody of the anti-graft agency.