ELECTION CONDUCT PROBE: ARMY PANEL RECOMMENDS SANCTIONS FOR OFFICIALS
A board of inquiry set up by the Nigerian Army to review allegations of unprofessional conducts by some officers and soldiers during the 2015 elections has recommended some sanctions for erring officials in its report submitted on Monday.
The Board set up by the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, after a thorough job submitted its report, which also looked at the army’s involvement in Ekiti and Osun States Gubernatorial elections last year, to the Chief of Army Staff at the Army Headquarters in Abuja, the oil-rich nation’s capital.
FAR REACHING RECOMMENDATIONS
In its report, the board recommended the compulsory retirement of two officers from the Nigerian Army, while three other officers were recommended to lose their command and one was recommended for prosecution for collecting financial gratification.
Other recommendations include placing 15 officers on watch list while nine officers were to be further investigated by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission over allegations levelled against them.
The Board also recommended that six officers should 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 counselling.
Submitting the report, the chairman of the board, Major General Adeniyi Oyebade, the General Officer Commanding 1 Division Nigerian Army, stated that the board, which placed advertorials requesting for memoranda from the public before they commenced sitting, had 23 officers and over 100 soldiers appeared before it as well as 62 civilians.
According to him, the Board had made far reaching recommendations that would assist the Nigerian Army and the nation in the future.
He thanked the Nigerian Army for the opportunity to serve and reiterated the Board’s members’ willingness to serve when called upon for any other such assignment. He also acknowledged the support and cooperation they received from the Nigerian Police and other security agencies, as well as the general public.
While receiving the report, Lieutenant General Buratai thanked the Board for a thorough and dispassionate job devoid of influence from any quarters.
He expressed delight that the Board, knowing the gravity and implication of their report on the careers of officers and impact on the Nigerian Army, discharged their assignment diligently and professionally.
He assured them that the report would be reviewed accordingly, in line with Nigerian Army’s legal and administrative procedures.
A statement by a spokesman for the Army, Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman, said the Chief of Army Staff also enjoined members of the Board to share knowledge acquired in the course of their assignment with their colleagues for the benefit of the Nigerian Army and the nation.
Lieutenant General Buratai further reassured Nigerians that the Army would continue to remain professional and apolitical in the discharge of its responsibilities.