Nigeria’s former chief of defence Air Marshall Alex Badeh, who was facing trial for alleged fraud, criminal breach of trust and money laundering, has been killed by unknown gunmen.
Badeh was shot dead on Tuesday on the outskirts of the capital, Abuja, further highlighting worsening security problems in the country.
Badeh died “from gunshot wounds sustained when his vehicle was attacked while returning from his farm along the Abuja-Keffi road”, a statement by Nigeria’s air force read.
Security analysts say the government is overwhelmed by the increasing violence.
“The Abuja-Keffi road on which Badeh was killed has become a security nightmare with robberies happening almost on daily basis,” Cheta Nwanze, head of research at Lagos-based SBM Intelligence, told Al Jazeera.
The former defence chief had been standing trial since 2016 for allegedly diverting about $20m allocated for the fight against Boko Haram, an armed group that fights for strict Islamic law to be implemented in the country’s northeast.
Anti-corruption officials found $1m in cash in one of Badeh’s mansions during investigations.
He was among several top security chiefs accused of stealing billions of dollars meant for tackling “insurgency” in the northeast.
Boko Haram has killed scores of soldiers in recent months and analysts say the troops are ill-equipped, fatigued and have reached a breaking point.