Ekitigate: Army Panel Recommends Retirement, Prosecution Of Top Officers

 

Major-General-Tukur-Buratai

The board of enquiry set up by Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, a Lieutenant General, to look into the unprofessional conducts of soldiers in the governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun states on Monday submitted its report with recommendations that could potentially have a far reaching impact beyond the military.

Led by Adeniyi Oyabade, a Major General and General Officer Commanding 1 Division, the board recommended the compulsory retirement of two officers while three are to lose their command. One is to face prosecution for collecting money for the election, 15 are to be placed under watch and nine are to be further investigated by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.     

According to a statement issued by army spokesperson, Sani Usman, 62 officers, over 100 soldiers and 62 civilians appeared before the panel following advertorials placed in the media calling for information from the public.

“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 read.

One of the officers commended was Sagir Koli, a Captain who leaked a recording of a meeting between his commander, Aliyu Momoh, a Brigadier General, former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, former Minister of Police Affairs, Jelili Adesiyan, Ekiti State Governor, Ayo Fayose, and other top chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

The meeting was on how the party would rig the 2014 governorship election in Ekiti State.






     

     

    Koli, an Army Intelligence Officer, had to flee the country following plans by the military to arrest him. His 15-year-old brother was, however, arrested, detained and tortured by the military.

    Despite calls for those implicated in the recording to be prosecuted, former President Goodluck Jonathan refused, saying he was not convinced about the authenticity of the recording of the meeting leaked by Koli.

    According to Usman, the board also made other far reaching recommendations that will serve as guide for the military in the future.

    While thanking the board for a job well done, the Chief of Army Staff assured that the report would be properly studied and enjoined members of the board to share their experience with other colleagues, adding that the army would continue to remain neutral and professional in carrying out its responsibilities.

     

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