By Kingsley Omonobi
ABUJA— The board of inquiry set up by the Nigerian Army to investigate allegations of professional misconduct by some officers in the 2015 elections that pitched President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress, APC, against former President Goodluck Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has recommended the compulsory retirement of two senior officers of the Nigerian Army.
General Officer Commanding 1 Division, Kaduna, Major General Adeniyi Oyebade, who chaired the board of inquiry, while submitting the report to the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, in Abuja, also recommended that three officers were to lose their command and one officer was recommended for prosecution for collecting financial gratification.
A statement signed by Col. Sani Usman, Acting Director, Army Public Relations, said: “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 levelled against them.
6 officers to face audit c’ttee
“Six officers are to face an audit committee and 62 officers (mostly of the rank of majors and below) were to be given Letters of Displeasure and to appear before their respective General Officers Commanding for counselling.”
Based on petitions and allegations of unprofessional and partisan conducts of some officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army during the 2015 General elections, Ekiti and Osun States governorship elections last year, the Nigerian Army set up a high powered board of inquiry.
The statement said: “The board, after a thorough job, had today, Monday, January 11, 2016, submitted its report to the Chief of Army Staff at the Army Headquarters, Abuja.
“Submitting the report, 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.
23 officers, 100 soldiers, 62 civilians appeared before it
“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 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.
In his remarks, 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.
Buratai assured 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.