#EkitiGate: Army Panel Report Indicts 92 Soldiers
The Board of Inquiry set up by the Nigerian Army has indicted 92 officers over their role in the Ekiti and Osun governorship polls after investigating the alleged misconduct of some military personnel during the 2015 elections.
The panel also recommended the compulsory retirement of two officers.
This is contained in a statement issued in Abuja on Monday by the Acting Army Spokesman, Col. Sani Usman.
The panel report has specifically recommended that two officers amongst the indicted soldiers are to be retired at once, while three are to lose their immediate commands.
Submitting the report to the COAS at the Army Headquarters Abuja, the Chairman of the investigation team, Major General Adeniyi Oyebade who is GOC 1 Division, said a thorough job was done to reach the far reaching decision taken as punitive measures to ensure no future recurrence.
Major General Oyebade said after placing advertorials in the media requesting for memoranda from the public before they commenced sitting “62 officers and over 100 soldiers appeared before it as well as 62 civilians”.
He said after months of thorough investigation, the Board was able to come me out with what he described as “far reaching recommendations that would assist the Nigerian Army and the nation in the future”.
According to a statement issued by Spokesman of the Nigeria Army, Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman, “two (2) officers were recommended compulsory retirement from the Nigerian Army, and three were to lose their command and 1 was recommended for prosecution for collecting financial gratification”.
“Other recommendations include placing 15 officers on watch list, 9 officers were to be further investigated by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission over allegations levelled against them. While 6 officers were to face an audit committee and 62 officers (mostly of the rank of Majors-below) were to be given Letters of Displeasure and to appear before their respective General Officers Commanding for counselling. Three officers are to be given letters of commendations.
The statement further mentioned that “General Oyebade also commended an officer, Captain Sagir Koli, for non-partisanship and professional conduct during the election period”
Major General Oyebade thanked the Nigerian Army for the opportunity to serve in even as he commended 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.
In his remarks while receiving the report, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General TY 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.
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. He further reiterated assurances that the Nigerian Army would continue to remain professional and apolitical in the discharge of its responsibilities.
It will be recalled that Sahara Reporters broke the Ekiti State election scandal. In allegations leveled by the online newspaper, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, Governor Ayodele Fayose, Senator Iyiola Omisore, former Minister of Police Affairs Jelili Adesiyan allegedly pressured, harassed and offered bribe to Brigadier General Aliyu Momoh to assist them to illegally manipulate the gubernatorial election in Ekiti state last June to favor the candidate of the PDP, Fayose.
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