11th January, 2016
A high powered Board of Inquiry set up by the Nigerian Army to investigate petitions and allegations of unprofessional and partisan conducts of some officers and soldiers during the 2015 general elections as well as the 2014 Ekiti and Osun state gubernatorial elections has recommended that an officer and nine others should face trial for allegedly receiving bribes.
While submitting its report to General Yakubu Buratai, the Chief of Army Staff on Monday at the Army Headquarters, Abuja, Chairman of the Board, Major General Adeniyi Oyebade, the General Officer Commanding 1 Division Nigerian Army, stated that the Board placed advertorials in the media requesting for memoranda from the public before they commenced sitting. In all, he stated that 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 further added that two officers were recommended for compulsory retirement from the Nigerian Army, three 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 were to be further investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, over allegations leveled against them.
In addition, the Board recommended that six 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.
He however failed to reveal the identity or the rank of the officers.
Major General Oyebade thanked the Nigerian Army for the opportunity to serve and reiterated the Board 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 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.
Buratai 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.