Army Arrests Impersonators, Suspected Cultists In Imo State

Army Impersonators In Imo arrestedThe Nigerian Army says it has arrested three army impostors in Imo State in southeast Nigeria.

The impersonators were nabbed by officials of the 34 Artillery Brigade of the Army in Obinze, during the precursor operations nicknamed “exercise crocodile smile”.

Parading the suspects at the Army Headquarters in Owerri, the Assistant Director, Public Relations of the Brigade, Lieutenant Haruna Tagwai, said the suspects had been parading themselves as military personnel using fake identity cards and some military kits to perpetrate criminal acts within Owerri metropolis and its environs.

Suspected Cultists arrested in Imo
Suspected cultists arrested by the army

He added that another four-man gang suspected to be members of a deadly cult group in Ohaji/ Egbema Local Government Area of Imo State were also arrested during the operation.

Lieutenant Tagwai said that the suspects would be handed over to the Imo State Police Command, for further investigation and prosecution.

Military Court-Martial Warns Against Avoidable Adjournments

Court Martial, Army, SoldiersThe Court-Martial trying erring soldiers of the Operation Lafiya Dole has warned that it will not welcome unnecessary adjournment and delays.

The President of the Court-Martial, Brigadier General Olusegun Adeniyi, gave the caution on Wednesday during the trial of four officers and 16 others charged for various malpractices in the course of the counter-insurgency war.

General Adeniyi, who read the riot act to the prosecuting and defence counsels, noted that he would conclude the trials within the shortest possible time, assuring that time spent in detention by the accused would be adequately accounted for once judgement was handed down.

He stated further, the reason for their confinement, adjourning sitting till September 5.

“Their confinement is so they do not endanger national security, others and themselves and interfere with prosecution since we still do not know the nature of their charges.”

The adjournment followed a plea by the prosecutors, who failed to furnish the court with details of charges against the erring soldiers.

The defence counsel, Steve Ogenyi, also made a bail application for the accused, who has spent between six to 18 months in detention, a request the court denied.

The acting General Officer Commanding 7 Division, Major General Victor Ezugwu, who inaugurated the Court Martial, said that the aim was to achieve timely and quick dispensation of justice.

General Ezugwu had appealed to the prosecutors and accused to avoid antics such as frivolous call for adjournment to cause unnecessary delay.

He also advised the court to avoid being biased and decisions based on external pressure, such that the judgement passed stands the test of Appellate Court and public opinion.

The acting GOC disclosed that the offences of those arraigned varies from theft and sales of ammunition to murder in the course of operations.

Counter Insurgency: Four Officers,16 Soldiers Face Court Martial

court maritalFour officers and sixteen other ranks of the Nigerian Army are facing Court Martial over offences committed in the theatre of the Operation Lafiya Dole.

Acting General Officer Commanding 7 Division, Major General Victor Ezugwu inaugurated the Court Martial on Wednesday following a directive from the Army Headquarters.

According to him, the aim is to achieve timely and quick dispensation of justice.

Gen. Ezugwu appealed to the prosecutors and accused to bear that in mind and avoid antics such as frivolous call for adjournment to cause unnecessary delay.

He also advised the court to avoid bias and decisions based on external pressure, such that the judgement passed stands the test of Appellate Court and public opinion.

Gen. Ezugwu told journalists that the offences of those arraigned varies from theft and sales of ammunition to murder in the course of operations.

The 20 soldiers are being arraigned at the maiden court martial, proceedings on account of the weight of their offences.

The GOC further stated that over a 100 soldiers have been tried and punished at the Brigade level over acts of indiscipline and unprofessionalism.

15,000 soldiers have also been awarded medals of excellence on the theatre of operation for patriotism and gallantry.

The president of the Court Martial, Gen. OG Adeniyi has assured the accused of fair hearing and justice.

The prosecutors have sought adjournment till September 5, 2016, the defense did not oppose but have applied for an open arrest for the accused who have been in military detention form 6 months to nearly 2 years.

Arms Procurement Scam: Buhari Orders Arrest Of Culprits

armsPresident Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the arrest of persons indicted by the interim report of the investigative committee on arms procurement.

The order is in a release issued by the Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina.

The committee discovered that budgetary interventions in local currencies amounting to over 640 billion naira and foreign currency of about 2.2 billion dollars were siphoned by those entrusted with national security.

Even more disturbing, according to the statement, was the award of contracts to fictitious companies by the office of the National Security Adviser, Colonel Sambo Dasuki, resulting to wastages and theft of funds.

The federal government vows that all those who have been indicted by the committee would be rounded up and prosecuted.

The press release also said that a contract for the purchase of four alpha jets, 12 helicopters, bombs and ammunition were approved at the heat of the insurgency war in the north-east and up till date; there is no inventory of these supplies and that indeed the contract was not executed.

Full Statement

On the authority of Mr President, a 13 man committee was set up by the Office of  the National Security Adviser to audit the procurement of arms and equipment in the Armed Forces and Defence sector from 2007 to date.

While the committee which was inaugurated on 31 August 2015 is yet to complete its work, its interim report has unearthed several illicit and fraudulent financial transactions.

As part of the findings, the committee has analyzed interventions from some organizations that provided funds to the Office of the National Security Adviser, Defence Headquarters, Army Headquarters, Naval Headquarters and Nigerian Air Force Headquarters, both in local and foreign currencies.

So far the total extra budgetary interventions articulated by the committee is Six Hundred and Forty Three Billion, Eight Hundred and Seventeen Million, Nine Hundred and Fifty Thousand, Eight Hundred and Eighty Five Hundred Naira and Eighteen Kobo (N643,817,955,885.18).

The foreign currency component is to the tune of Two Billion, One Hundred and Ninety Three Million, Eight Hundred and Fifteen Thousand US Dollars and Eighty Three Cents ($2,193,815,000.83).

These amounts exclude grants from the State Governments and funds collected by the DSS and Police. It was observed that in spite of this huge financial intervention, very little was expended to support defense procurement.

The committee also observed that of 513 contracts awarded at $8,356,525,184.32; N2,189,265,724,404.55 and €54,000.00; Fifty Three (53) were failed contracts amounting to $2,378,939,066.27 and N13,729,342,329.87 respectively.

Interestingly, it was noted that the amount of foreign currency spent on failed contracts was more than double the $1bn loan that the National Assembly approved for borrowing to fight the insurgency in the North East.

The committee also discovered that payments to the tune of Three Billion, Eight Hundred and Fifty Million Naira (N3,850,000,000.00) were made to a single company by the former NSA without documented evidence of contractual agreements or fulfilment of tax obligations to the FGN.

Further findings revealed that between March 2012 and March 2015, the erstwhile NSA, Lt Col MS Dasuki (rtd) awarded fictitious and phantom contracts to the tune of N2,219,188,609.50,  $1,671,742,613.58 and €9,905,477.00. The contracts which were said to be for the purchase of 4 Alpha Jets, 12 helicopters, bombs and ammunition were not executed and the equipment were never supplied to the Nigerian Air Force, neither are they in its inventory.

Even more disturbing was the discovery that out of these figures, 2 companies, were awarded contracts to the tune of N350,000,000.00, $1,661,670,469.71 and €9,905,477.00 alone. This was without prejudice to the consistent non-performance of the companies in the previous contracts awarded.

Additionally, it was discovered that the former NSA directed the Central Bank of Nigeria to transfer the sum of $132,050,486.97 and €9,905,473.55 to the accounts of Societe D’equipmente Internationaux in West Africa, United Kingdom and United States of America for un-ascertained purposes, without any contract documents to explain the transactions.

The findings made so far are extremely worrying considering that the interventions were granted within the same period that our troops fighting the insurgency in the North East were in desperate need of platforms, military equipment and ammunition. Had the funds siphoned to these non performing companies been properly used for the purpose they were meant for, thousands of needless Nigerian deaths would have been avoided.

Furthermore, the ridicule Nigeria has faced in the international community would have been avoided. It is worrisome and disappointing that those entrusted with the security of this great nation were busy using proxies to siphon the national treasury, while innocent lives were wasted daily.

In light of these findings, President Muhammadu Buhari has directed that the relevant organizations arrest and bring to book, all individuals who have been found complicit in these illegal and fraudulent acts.

 

Army Has Deradicalized Over 200 Boko Haram Insurgents – Commander

Boko Haram- armyThe Nigeri‎an Army has deradicalized over 200 Boko Haram insurgents from November 2014 till date.

This was revealed by the Commander of the 28 Task Force Brigade in Mubi, Adamawa State, Brigadier General Victor Ezuegwu at the sensitisation organized by the Army Headquarters, Department of Civil Military Affairs in Mubi.

Brigadier General Ezugwu said that the event was in line with the presidential directives to the military to accomplish the defeat of Boko Haram insurgency in north-eastern Nigeria before the end of 2015.

While delivering his paper at the event which was held at the Palace of the Emir of Mubi, Dr. Isa Abubakar, the representative of the Chief of Civil/Military Affairs, Col. Victor O. Olatunji, said that the aim of the seminar was to sensitize all stakeholders on the need for cordial working relationship between the civil populace and the Nigerian Army.

Insurgency: Army Commences Massive Re-training Of Officers, Soldiers Nationwide

Army Training closeupThe Nigerian Army on Friday said that it had commenced massive training for its soldiers and officers nationwide to bring an end to the insurgency and other security challenges bedevilling the nation.

The Commandant, Infantry Corps, Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji, Major-General Mohammed Abubakar, disclosed this during the commissioning of 1 Division Nigerian Army Headquarters Training School in Kaduna.

According to him, the training schools, which had been in existence since the 1970s had been reopened to enable the Army train the multitude of soldiers it has, since the existing schools could not cope with the increasing number of soldiers being recruited on yearly basis.

He said that the training would improve the basic knowledge and skills of the soldiers and officers to enable them effectively curb the insurgency and other security challenges that have faced the nation.

The Army authorities also noted that establishing schools at each division level would help to give basic trainings to soldiers, rather than making them wait until they get to the training schools in Jaji, Bauchi, Kachia and the rest.

On his part, the General Officer Commanding, 1 Division Headquarters of the Nigerian Army, Major-General Kenneth Osuji, said that the establishment of the schools would provide avenue for immediate training of soldiers and officers under every division.

Osuji added that the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Kenneth Minimah, had also directed all the six divisions in the Nigerian Army to establish basic training schools for its officer and soldiers to aid in curbing security challenges.

Apart from academic exercise, the soldiers and officers, during their trainings, would equally undergo special physical training in line with the contemporary challenges.

Prayers were also offered for God’s protection of those in the battle field.

 

Boko Haram:JTF To Hand Over Mission To Nigerian Army

The command of the ongoing internal security operations in the North East will tomorrow, (Monday) enter a new phase as the control of the mission reverts to the Army Headquarters, a statement by the Director, Defence Information, Brig. Gen. Chris Olukolade said.

The statement added “Accordingly, a new army Division has been created and will take off to continue the counter-insurgency operation with immediate effect”.

“Coming three months into the mission to stamp out terrorism in the North East, this development is in line with the plans laid out for the conduct of the operations to execute the mandate spelt out in the State of Emergency declaration by the President, Commander-in-Chief” the statement said.

Olukolade further said “The phase being concluded on Monday was executed by a Joint Task Force composed by troops drawn from the Services of the Armed Forces as well as other security agencies who conducted Operation BOYONA”.

Code-named Operation BOYONA, an acronym derived from the names of the 3 states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa covered by the State of Emergency declaration, “the effort was meant to constitute the first phase of the counter-terrorists operation”.

The Nigerian Army will now be solely in charge of the operations, but still under the routine guidance of the Defence Headquarters.

A General Officer Commanding (GOC), in the rank of Major General is being proposed to command the new Division which will have its Headquarters in Maiduguri.  He is due to take over Command and the assets of the Headquarters of the Joint Task Force.

The new Division is to continue with the conduct of counter-terrorists operations in the North East which comes under its area of Responsibility.

Over 20 Killed In Fresh Plateau Violence- Lawmaker

The security situation in Riyom local government continues to degenerate as the incessant attacks on villages by suspected Fulani herdsmen is on the rise and it seems like the special task force does not have a solution to the continuous loss of lives and properties.

Member of Plateau State House of Assembly representing Riyom constituency, Daniel Dem expressed his dismay saying despite the presence of the security operatives in the affected areas, people are still being killed on daily basis while houses are burnt and farmlands destroyed by the attackers.

Narrating the ordeal of the people, Dem stated that over 20 people have been killed since the beginning of the week as two people were killed by the attackers at Attakar village in Gana Wuri district while another five were also killed at Dajak village in Sopp district all in Riyom local government area of Plateau State in the last two days.

He therefore advised the defence headquarters to review the strategy of maintaining law and order in the area, since the present composition of the special task force could not curtail the excesses of the attackers.

Army Headquarters Redeploys Senior Officers

The army has redeployed 317 officers to maintain effective command structure in its units, formations and the Defence Headquarters.

The officers redeployed include the General Officers Commanding (GOCs) 81 Division Lagos,  Major General Kenneth T.J. Minimah  and 2 Division Ibadan,  Major General M.D. Abubakar.

The former Commander 4 Brigade, Benin, Major General Obi Omahi is now the GOC 81 Division while the former GOC, Major General Minimah is now Commander Infantry Corps and Centre, Jaji. He replaced Major General Mohammed D. Isah who retired shortly after the twin blasts at Jaji Cantonment last year.

The former Director of Military Intelligence, Major General A. T. Jibrin is now GOC 2 Division while former GOC Major General M.D. Abubakar was redeployed as Chief of Army Administration.

Former General Officer Commanding 3 Division, Major General Jack Nwaogbo is now the Chief of Training and Operations, replacing Major General Lawrence Ngubane.

The Director of Army Public Relations Major General Bola Koleoso has also been redeployed as the new Chief of Civil Millitary Affairs.

The new Director of Army Public Relations is Brigadier General Ibrahim Attahiru, formerly of the Defence Headquarters.