Operatives of Inspector General of Police, Intelligence Response Team (IRT) have arrested two more suspects who allegedly participated in the killing of ex-Chief of Defence Staff, Air Vice Marshal Alex Badeh. The late Badeh was killed two months ago by gunmen who attacked his vehicle on the Keffi- Kaduna expressway.
The arrest of the two suspects identified as Usman Ciroma and Ibrahim Abdulahi brought the total number of suspects arrested in connection with the high profile murder to five. The IRT had on December 23, 2018, through a tip-off, arrested one Shuaibu Rabo, who was alleged to be amongst those who fired the shot that killed the ex-CDS. He confessed during interrogation that Ciroma invited him and his brother Yahaya for the operation.
It was Shuaibu’s confessions that aided the police in apprehending Alhaji Maube and Yahaya days later. Further investigation led to the arrest of Ciroma and Abdulahi.
Police sources disclosed that after the suspects were arrested, it was discovered that Maube, was the middleman between the late Badeh and the owner of the farm land which he wanted to buy. He was alleged to have contracted Ciroma for the attack on the military chief. He was said to have brought two of the Ak-47 rifles that were used for the operation, while Ciroma sourced the other three rifles including the gun that fired the lethal bullet.
During interrogation, Ciroma narrated how he organised the robbery operation that led to the killing of the ex-CDS and his eventual arrest. “A week before the incident I visited my friend Maube, who live in Kare, close to Panda area of Nasarawa State and he told me that there was a rich man who has a farm in his area and he would need some boys to rob the man. I contacted one Shuaibu, who I met in Gitata market and I told him about the plan and he got interested and brought in his brother, Yahaya.
Then I took their number and three days later, Maube called me and said that the rich man was in his farm and that I should call my boys. I stopped at Bade area of Kaduna State and I called Shuaibu and told him that the man was on ground. Then Shuaibu brought two persons, Yahaya and Baso. They met me at Gitata and Maube then called me and said that the rich man has left his farm and he was driving through Panda Road.
Maube took a motorcycle and followed the rich man from behind, while I and six others, Alhaji Lamido, Galma, Rabo, Shuaibu, Yahaya and Baso, waited for the man at Zomgo area of the State close to Buritai’s farm. Then Ibrahim Abdulahi, who was carrying Maube on his bike, brought two guns to us and he pointed the vehicle to us and we came outside and waylaid it. We had four Ak-47 rifles in that operation. I brought two Ak-47 rifles and a single barrel dane gun. I got one of the Ak-47 rifles from a friend known as Rontumi and another from Rugumi .
The gun belongs to me and we entered the road and blocked the man’s convoy. I don’t know who fired the shot that killed the man.
Three persons fired shots, I don’t know who fired the shots but after the shootings, I went to the man’s car, opened it and found money in it; I gave the money to Ibrahim Abdulahi and asked him to give the money to Maube. It was the following day that we knew that the person we killed was a four-star military General. I don’t know the amount that was in that bag because it was with Maube”.
On how he was arrested, 35-year-old Ciroma, who is married to two wives and has eight children said: “I am a taxi driver and I ply the Kaduna-Keffi expressway. I make N4000 daily, I reside in Gajio.
On December 24, 2018, around 5pm, I was at Panda market, waiting for passengers, when a bus blocked me and policemen came out of it. I was dragged into the bus and I saw Shuaibu in it. I was handcuffed and was taken to the Keffi Area Command, in Nasarawa State. Then they asked me if I was part of the gang that blocked the road and killed Alex Badeh and I said no, but when I was brought to Abuja, I had no option than to confess.”
Another suspect, Ibrahim Abdulahi, 26, who is a native of Kare, claimed he has no knowledge that Muabe, was planning robbery operation when he called him to take him to Gitata in December 2018. “I am a farmer and I ride motorbike, because I needed extra money to take care of my family. Muabe called me on a Tuesday in December 2018, and he asked me to take him to Panda area of Nasarawa and when we got to his shop, he asked me to stop and I did, then he went into his shop and brought a bag. I didn’t know what was in the bag.
He then asked me to take the bag to Gitata and hand it over to Ciroma. I went there and stopped at Buritai’s farm, Ciroma and Shuaibu and Alhaji came to me and they collected the bag from me, after which they asked me to wait.
I went to the back of Buritai’s farm and waited. Few minutes later, I heard rounds of gunshots and Ciroma called me to come for the bag I gave him and he also handed me another bag containing money and he asked me to give the bag to Muabe”
Also Shuaibu Rabo, 25, who was the first to be arrested said he wasn’t aware that the bullets from his gun was what killed the General adding that he wasn’t the only person who shot at the General’s convoy during the attack. “What happened was that before last year’s Christmas, I went to the market and I met Ciroma and he told me that there was a big man that has a farm in Panda and the man was coming to buy another farm within the area and he would want us to rob the man when he brings the money for payment.
That was on a Friday and Ciroma told me that the man was coming the next Tuesday to pay for the land. On that Tuesday, I went to my own farm and I told my friend, Yahaya about it and we called Ciroma to know if the job was still on and Ciroma asked us to come. When we met Ciroma, he gave me a gun and also gave five others different types of guns.
“When the operation started, my friend Yahaya, was on my right, with a stick and I was in front, but Ciroma and the other guys were ahead of us and when the vehicle carrying the man and the money came, those in front started shooting.
At that point, I can’t tell who killed the man and when we got to the vehicle, Ciroma brought out a bag from the vehicle and he gave me N25,000 and said he will call me when the money was ready to be shared. I didn’t know that the man was killed by the bullet from the gun I used in the operation”.