Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Airforce Wing Commander dies ‘mysteriously’ in Yola detention facility

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The Wing Commander was accused of going away without leave, AWOL.

A wing commander in the Nigerian Air Force has died in detention.

The officer, whose name was given as C.L Nwaogu died in mysterious circumstances while he was detained at the officer’s mess, 75 Strike Group of the Nigerian Air Force, Yola.

Mr. Nwaogu, our reporter gathered, had been in detention for the last four months for absenting himself from his duty post without official leave (AWOL). He died Tuesday night, a day before his fate was to be decided by the military committee set up to try him.

Reports say the late Wing Commander had presented a resignation letter to the 75 strike group after he had been absent from his duty post without the group’s permission. His flouting of a military directive led to his detention within the Command’s premises. A source disclosed that the case has suffered several hitches and delay arising from the death of key figures involved even before the demise of Mr. Nwaogu, its central figure.

Those conversant with the case said the death of the Wing Commander on the eve of the judgment raises more suspicion. Efforts made to get the military authorities to speak on the incident were unsuccessful as the Community Officer of the 75 Strike Group declined comment. He said it was a purely a military affair, which frowns at any civil intrusion.

Sources from the strike group told PREMIUM TIMES why the case had taken so long, attributing it to an accident involving late Mr. Nwaogu’s counsel, who died in an auto crash on the Bauchi – Gombe road while on his way to Yola for the case. Another incident also involved a former head of the court-martial committee, who lost his son. All this, the source hinted had stalled proceedings as the man had to withdraw from the committee.

Feelers from the strike Group and the Barracks indicate that the passage of the late Wing Commander was received with shock, given the fact that the deceased was an amiable, jovial, and humorous individual. His family, it is learnt, are in Makurdi Air Force base. The death of Mr. Nwaogu has generated speculations from the rank and file of the barracks as there is no official position regarding the cause of his death.

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