The Nigerian Army Panel of Inquiry which was set up in 2015 to investigate alleged cases of partisanship and other forms of professional misconduct against some of its officers and men during the 2015 general elections in the country, as well as Ekiti and Osun State governorship elections, has recommended the sack of two of its officers and disciplinary action against no fewer than 90 other personnel.
The Street Journal recalls that following petitions received from the public, the Army authorities had in 2015 set up a board of inquiry to investigate the conduct of its personnel deployed for the purpose of the conduct of elections.
The army’s Acting Director of Public Relations, Colonel Sani Usman, in a statement issued in Abuja on Monday, said the panel also commended Captain Sagir Koli, an officer who exposed a video recording exposing plans by his commanding officer and top officials of the Goodluck Jonathan administration to rig the June 21, 2014 election in Ekiti State, for his “non-partisanship and professional conduct during the election period.”
Captain Koli, who had gone into hiding when he got wind of plans by the authorities to arrest him had in the video recording exposed the conspiracy involving his commanding officer, General Aliyu Momoh, a former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, a former Minister of Police Affairs, Jelili Adesiyan, Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, and two chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party, Senators Andy Uba and Iyiola Omisore, to rig the Ekiti State 2014 Governorship election.
According to the statement, the board of inquiry, chaired by Major-General Adeniyi Oyebade, made far-reaching recommendations meant to assist the army in future involvement in civil elections, as well as recommended the sack of two officers and sanctioning of over ninety others.
It said three officers were also recommended to lose their commands, while one other was recommended for prosecution for collecting cash bribe, 15 officers placed on watch list, nine others to be handed over to the Economic and Financial Crime Commission for further investigations over alleged corruption.
The statement reads: “The Board after a thorough job had today, Monday Jan. 11, 2016, submitted its report to the Chief of Army Staff at the Army Headquarters, Abuja.
”Two officers were recommended for compulsory retirement from the Nigerian Army, 3 were to lose their command and one was recommended for prosecution for collecting financial gratification.
”Other recommendations include; placing 15 officers on watch list, nine officers are to be further investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over allegations leveled against them.
”Six officers are to face an audit committee and 62 officers (mostly of the rank of Majors-below) are to be given Letters of Displeasure and to appear before their respective General Officers Commanding for counseling
“Three officers are to be given letters of commendations for top-notch professional conducts during the election, the board recommended.”
The statement further said that the Chief of Army Staff, General Tukur Buratai, thanked the board of doing a thorough and dispassionate job devoid of external influence and assured the board that the report would be reviewed in line with Army extant legal and administrative procedures.
The statement added that the Nigerian Army would continue to remain professional and apolitical in the discharge of its responsibilities.