Tobi Soniyi in Abuja
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has formally filed a ten-count charge ‎of money laundering against the former Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh (rtd) on Tuesday.
The former Chief of Defence Staff had earlier asked a Federal High Court in Abuja to grant him bail from detention.
Badeh is charged alongside a company Iyalyam Nig Limited‎, the company allegedly used by him to acquire property.
The charge which has suit number FHC/ABJ/CR/46/2016‎ has already been assigned to Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court in Abuja.
An EFCC source said Badeh would be arraigned on Thusrday.
He is being held in Lagos by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) since February 8, 2016, when he was invited by the anti graft agency for questioning.
However, in a bid to secure bail, Badeh through his counsel, Samuel Zibiri, SAN filed an application at the Federal High Court Abuja seeking his release from detention.
The application dated February 15, was 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.
Justice James Tsoho had already reserved ruling in Badeh’s application to release him for March 4th.
Zibiri is praying the court for an order admitting Badeh to bail on self recognizance, or on such favourable 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 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 and being compelled to write a bulky statement.
The alleged case of fraud for which the applicant was invited is ordinarily bailable, according to Zibiri, adding that “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 his being granted bail.”
According to him‎ the applicant has no criminal antecedents or records. 
The lawyer said: “The applicant owing to his status in the society can be granted bail on self recognizance, or on 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.”
In arguing his application, Zibiri said Badeh’s detention under a remand order issued by a magistrate court in Lagos “is a gross abuse of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) 2015” insisting he should be granted bail because a Federal High Court was superior to the magistrate court.
“The issue is that at whose instance is the applicant being kept in custody? We only have one EFCC, and the provision of ACJA 2015 should not be abused” Badeh’s lawyer posited.
Opposing the application, counsel to the EFCC, Cosmas Ugwu told the court that Badeh had not even made any effort to secure bail in Lagos, where he was presently being detained.
“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,” Ugwu argued.
More so, the EFCC lawyer informed the court that Badeh was being held under a remand order issued by a Lagos magistrate court because he was fingered in the NIMASA fraud allegation.
Consequently, Ugwu urged the court to dismiss the application.
Meanwhile, Jusice John Tsoho has fixed March 4, for ruling.
In an affidavit in support of the bail application deposed to by one Emeka E. Okoroafor, the deponent stated that “That the applicant was invited by the EFCC vide a letter dated February 1, 2016, to their office at No. 5 Fomella Street, Wuse II, Abuja, on Wednesday, February 3, 2016, to provide some clarification on connection with their investigation into an alleged case of fraud.
“That the applicant honoured the invitation at the scheduled time and date, in company of his legal Representatives led by his humble self Samuel O. Zibiri, SAN.
“That upon meeting the officials of the respondent, the applicant was informed that the respondent’s acting Chairman and all the investigators were in a meeting and could not attend to the applicant and his team of lawyers and requested the applicant to come back by 5pm later that same day.
“That the applicant returned to the office of the respondent with his legal Representatives at 5pmas agreed and again, the respondent informed the applicant that they were not ready to attend to him and requested him to return to the commission on Monday, February 8, 2016, for the interaction with the ‎officers of the respondent.
“That the applicant upon being informed of this fact decided as a matter of courtesy to meet the Acting Chairman at his office and inform him of his readiness to cooperate with any investigations, whereat the Acting Chairman of the respondent assured him that the invitation was merely routine and he would be able to return to his retirement once the meeting was over.
“That on Monday, February 8, the applicant accompanied by his legal Representatives honoured the respondent’s invitation and he met with the investigator concerned.
“That contrary to the Acting Chairman’s assurances that the visit was merely routine, the applicant was interrogated for well ‎over 9 hours and asked to write a statement which he did and was thereafter detained and all attempts to secure his release and reschedule another appointment was thwarted by the respondent.
“That three days after the applicant was detained, the respondent issued an internal memo dated February 10, the most onerous and unrealistic bail terms.
“That upon receiving the bail condition all effort was made to satisfy same ‎by the family and friends of the applicant who could not satisfy same due to its onerous and unreasonable terms whereupon he, Mr Zibiri, SAN, wrote a letter for a review of the bail condition for the applicant.
“That the respondent has refused neglected and ignored the said appeal and has continued to detain the applicant indefinitely.
“That he is currently recovering from a recent surgery on his spinal cord for Lumbo-sacral Spondylosis and currently on medication. He also has a history of Renal Lithiasis (Kidney Stones).”