The Nigeria Army has been accused of sacking some of its officers for not showing support for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the last elections. According to a special investigation, the recently retired officers were sent packing without following proper procedures and for having ties to the erstwhile administration of ex-President Goodluck Jonathan.
While the report confirmed that some officers were found culpable by the ongoing arms scandal probe panel, majority of the soldiers were actually sacked because of their loyalties to the former leader. “Majority of the 38 officers compulsorily retired by the Nigerian Army two months ago were sent away without recourse to the rules of disengagement in the Nigerian military.”
It continued: “…the Army breached its own rule by retiring most of the officers without query or indictment by any panel, thereby raising question of arbitrariness….contrary to the claim by the Army,…investigations showed that only a few of the affected officers were queried, tried and indicted. “Others had their careers abruptly cut short for reasons that smacks of high-level arbitrariness, pettiness, witch-hunting and partisanship by authorities of the Army.”
Army insiders are reported as saying that the affected officers “…were never informed of their offences nor were they invited to face any panel of inquiry,” but it quoted a document saying, they were retired for allegedly committing “serious offence”.
The sources are also quoted as saying that “the remaining 10 officers were simply retirement because they were suspected to have failed to help this regime to power. “For instance, two officers were laid off because of their ties to the embattled former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki….”
But the army has denied any complicity in the dismissal of the officers. “Those that were compulsorily retired had one problem or the other that warranted their compulsory retirement from the Army. “Basically that’s it. And whoever is not satisfied with that should please seek redress. They are quite familiar with the terms and conditions of service.
“None of them was arbitrarily retired and they know. Army can’t just retire you without any offence or because the Chief of Army Staff does not like your face. “It is not for them to go to newspaper. They were advised to write the Commander-in-Chief through the Chief of Defence Staff to seek redress. Their records are there and they will be given cogent reason why they were asked to retire compulsorily,”
Officers affected are Major-Generals F. O. Alli, E.J. Atewe, I. N. Ijoma, L. C. Ilo, TC Ude, Letam Wiwa, SD Aliyu, M.Y Ibrahim, LC Ilo and O. Ejemai. Also affected are Brigadier-Generals D. M. Onoyeiveta, A. S. O. Mormoni Bashir, A.S.H Sa’ad, A. I. Onibasa, D. Abdusalam, L.M. Bello, KA Essien, B. A. Fiboinumama and I. M. Lawson. Others are Cols. M.A. Suleiman, I. O. Ahhachi, P. E. Ekpenyong, T. T. Minimah, O. U. Nwonkwo, and F. D. Kayode, Lt-Cols C. O. Amadi, K. O. Adimogha, T. E. Arigbe, O. A. Baba Ochankpa, D. B. Dazang, O. C. Egemole, Enemchukwu, A. Mohammed, A. S. Mohammed, G. C. Nyekwu, T. O. Oladintoye, C. K. Ukoha and Major A. T. Williams.