EXCLUSIVE: Nigerian Army gives formal reasons why it dismissed 22 senior officers

nigerian-army-headquarters

Specific reasons given for compulsory retirement of some senior officers of the Nigerian Army have been uncovered in the PREMIUM TIMES ongoing investigations of the controversial exercise.

The reasons ranged from alleged money laundering and arms procurement scam to illegal sale of military vehicle and professional misconduct in election matters, documents seen by this newspaper showed.

The Army Council compulsorily retired 38 senior officers in June. Days after the exercise, the Army spokesperson, Sani Usman, a colonel, confirmed the development, generally saying the officers were laid off on the grounds of arms procurement fraud and professional misconduct in the 2015 elections.

But investigation by this newspaper revealed most of the affected officers were sent away without query or indictment by any panel but for reasons that smacked of high-level arbitrariness, pettiness, witch-hunting and partisanship by Army authorities.

In the Army’s statement that confirmed the retirement exercise, there was no specific reason given for retiring each of the officers.

Even in the June 9 dismissal letter – seen by PREMIUM TIMES – given to the affected officers, there was no specific reason, other than reference to Paragraph 09.02c(4) of the Harmonised Terms and Conditions of Service for Officers 2012, which is “disciplinary grounds i.e. serious offence”.

But official documents filed by the Army in court and seen by this newspaper showed the actual reasons the Army gave for sending at least 22 of the officers away.

Nwokoro Ijioma (N/8304), Major General, was accused of “illegal sale of 17 military vehicles.” The duo of Ohifeme Ejemai (N/8340), Major General, and A.S. Saad (N/8392), Brigadier General, were compulsorily retired for “fraud and money laundering”.

LM Bello (N/8799), another Brigadier General, was retired for “arms procurement (fraud)/ distortion and partisanship”.

Three other Brigadier Generals, A. Onibasa (N/9072), D. Abdulsalam (N/9165) and Idam Agachi (N/8780) were respectively retired because they “engaged in acts of corruption.”

However, “money laundering” was added for Mr. Agachi.

For Peter Ekpeyong (N/8730), O.U. Nwankwo (N/9678), Feyisetan Kayode (N/9344), M.A. Suleiman (N10030) and Tobiah Minimah (N/10185), all Colonels, “disciplinary grounds” were cited as reasons for their compulsory retirement.

Apart from “disciplinary grounds”, Mr. Minimah, a brother of a former Army Chief, Kenneth Minimah, was also alleged to have been involved in “partisan election” – same allegation faced by D.R. Hassan (N/9909), C.K. Ukoha (N/10319) and Timothy Oladuntoye (N/10338), also Colonels.

Then, five Lieutenant Colonels – Chinonye Amadi (N10359), O.A. Ochankpa (N/10419), K.O. Adimoha (N/10421) A. Mohammed (N/10659) and Abubakar Mohammed (N/10662) – were also accused of “involvement in election matters”.

The two remaining Lt. Colonels, D.B. Dazang (N/10414) and T.E. Arigbe (N/10416) had their careers brought to an abrupt end for “disciplinary issues”.

However, contrary to the Army’s claims, -PREMIUM TIMES’ findings show that at least 15 of the 22 officers seeking redress were not indicted by any panel before they were dismissed.

Among the 15, only Brigadier General A. Saad actually appeared before a panel. Even he was, however, cleared by the arms procurement probe panel. None of the other 14 were queried or invited to appear before any panel, a contravention of Army rule.

“These charges are new to us,” one of the dismissed officers told PREMIUM TIMES.

” Nobody ever mentioned it or accused any of us, at least not me, before we were dismissed,” he added.

The fifteen who were never indicted are Messrs. Ijioma and Ejemai (Major Generals); Messrs. Saad, Bello, Abdulsalam, and Agachi (Brigadier Generals); Messrs Nwankwo, Minimah, Ukoha, Oladuntoye, and Suleiman (Colonels); and Messrs Ochankpa, Adimoha, A. Mohammed, and Abubakar Mohammed (Lieutenant Colonels).

Two others who were neither queried nor indicted by any panel, as our investigations revealed, were not among the 22 who sought redress. Mormoni Bashir (N/8396), a former principal staff officer to ex-National Security Adviser Sambo Dasuki, and I. Lawson (N/8812), a Defense Attache in China did not appeal their dismissals.

The 22 who are seeking redress have already written to the President Muhammadu Buhari.

According to a July letter by the Chief of Defence Staff, Abayomi Olonisakin, to President Muhammadu Buhari, the 22 officers complained that Army authorities breached laws in ending their careers abruptly.

Except Mr. Efemai who prefers voluntary retirement, the officers are praying Mr. Buhari to consider their appeals and reinstate them into the army, Mr. Olonisakin’s letter seen by this newspaper showed.

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  • amazing2012

    The beauty of this list is its conformity with the federal character.
    Army is always army! Involvement of military into politics made most of these guys victims of their own woes !
    Now having betrayed your country, you can go to form security companies to manage your miserable lives. The most painful story is the arms procurement offense. We learnt, some of the fat belly generals even sold arms to insurgence. Imagine selling arms to your enemies to use and kill your army and people.? What a heartless mind ?

    • sab

      How do people reason? Amazing, have you worked in the civil service before? If yes, what is the norm in disengaging a staff? You must issue him query and upon reply, it is now your prerogative to accept his response or not. Some even have number of times you will ‘commit’ before you could be laid off. In the case of these soldiers, no query, never appeared before any panel as they claimed and as PT say their investigation revealed. Besides, in their dismissal letters, none of such allegations or reasons were given but when they petitioned PMB the military are now coming up with different reasons. We all saw what role the military played during the Bayelsa and Rivers elections and none of them has been sanctioned till date.

      • Bash

        civil service my foot! Since when was this service civil with the rules of engagement…people perpetrate evil with impunity then try to take cover under due process.

        • suleiman

          Bash’s buffoonish action is irredeemable, so one should was his precious time on a buffoon like you who is an absolute illiterate!

        • amazing2012

          Please read my comment to SAB

        • Iskacountryman

          child…the law was set up because of people like you…due process must be followed…

      • amazing2012

        In Nigeria we have two rules, the one paper and the one in practice. In most situation, the one not on paper prevailed. These are practical rules that bend the written rules.
        Since the some satanic Christians in the army staged the failed first coup and the way and manner by which some prominent people were selected and exucated brought distrust in the minds of Nigeria leadership. Any person in power tend to bend the rule for his security.
        When Jonathan was in power he appoint Minima and retired many Generals with no reason attached to their retirement. And promote those he feel will be trusted.
        MILITARY HAVE RULE AND HAVE NO RULE BUT COMMAND !
        You are so ignorant to realize that at the moment you point at someone with arm and solders loyal to him, is like declaring war with him.
        However in normal circumstances, the procedure you mentioned suppose to be followed. But imagine you give 15 generals query, and you expect their answer while they have commands under them and arms at their disposal.! There is tendency to have a successive revolt by the military.
        There is no justice, fairness and equality in military but discipline and obedience.
        Involvement of military into politics is wh brought army to face such selective justice from time to time for fear of what happened years back ( first coup).
        Leave military to military and congratulates them that they were not sentence to deaths or DISMISSED !
        Imagine someone selling weapons to Boko haram and Nigeria losing their young officers in the field from the same weapons government purchased to protect them ! And you are talking about justice ? What justice can you give to deaths and their family that their lives due to some few corrupt officers ?
        To talk about bayelsa and rivers election and FAILED TO MENTION EKITI !
        Are you really ok ?

    • yusuf Mikail

      Your post is silly, insulting,insensitive and smacks of crass administrative ignorance. Do you realize we are dealing with careers here? Do you know how much the Nigerian state has invested in each of these officers? We are dealing with arbitrariness here.

      • Bash

        No! we are not dealing with careers here but impunity! The greater good for society is better than for individual careers

      • dami

        Do you realize we are dealing with people’s lives here?
        If their careers were so important to them they wouldn’t of made such grave errors of judgement that resulted in their colleagues and fellow Nigerians losing their lives.
        They should bury their heads in shame and keep quiet…and no kudos to you for trying to justify their nonsense behavior.

    • Lorgne

      PT is unable to realise that it was in the interest of the affected officers that their crimes and atrocities were not stated in the dismissal letters. Being military personnel, this would otherwise make it impossible for them to be employed in other places.

      • odion omoni

        U ar very wrong, the military is guided by rules, before u punish an officer u must first subject them to court Marshall. This was not d case. One of them was recently promoted and made a GOC, do u thick the army did not do a profiling and found him worthy of the assignment? Yet he has been tagged with money laundry and fraud. Pls do a proper research and u will see d absurdity in the whole exercise.

        • Abdulmojeed Nojeemdeen

          Please bloda,don’t put yourself in trouble. No put your mouth for wetin you no sabi. This is not civil politics,it is a military system,that sometimes they don’t need to tell you the reason why they did it in the first place. By their tradition, you don’t even need to complain to the outsiders. Are they planing a rebellion or what? I pity you that think you must speak on everything. Please keep your mouth safe.

      • there was no dismissal.

  • odion omoni

    The offences pinned on this officers is only an after thought, they came up with this allegations because they realised their blunder. How can they punish these officers before trial. Some of them ‘re the best brains in the Nigerian army. It is a pity that the military has bn so politicised. I am beginning to doubt d corruption allegations levelled against some pers in Nigeria if this could happen in the military

    • Abdulmojeed Nojeemdeen

      Just because PT make you to think so abi. Use your own discretion free from any.sentiment and remember ,military matter no concern you bloody civilian. So don’t put mouth,e no konsain you.

  • Abdulmojeed Nojeemdeen

    Have people suddenly forgotten that the military rule by Fiat and hold nobody any explanation. Anything done in the military to the interest of the general well-being of the country. Where were these sacked officers when bokoharam were on the rampage killing their colleagues? I don’t care which tribe head or dominated the army,so far the Nigeria sovereignty is guaranteed. I know some people will site ethnic bias,but we were all alive when the Nigeria army was under the control of patriotic hausas,we were the envies of many nation. Remember under late sunny abacha,when the Cameroonian gendame strayed into our country,recollect how they were shown the material the Nigerian army was made of,tough. What happens under Jonathan and southern led Nigeria army,we have a different army which practically became an appendage of PDP, with pot belly generals and major genrals, with their subordinates living like police ordely under them. A Nigerian army that was honourably called to come and quench insugency world wide suddenly became the ghost of itself because of nepotism and corruption under Jonathan. NA was then left at the mercy of pastors and militants for the purchase of weapons,whose money will be smuggled into South Africa for the mutilated and unfit weapons to be smuggled back into the country. Please,PT, it is either you are for us or against us. Under jonathan, Nigeria army practically became a defacto slaves of Dasuki having gagged the incompetent Jonathan. In order for them to justify their lootings,they allow bokoharam to fester for over 6 years. Is it not ironical,that a bokoharam war that could not be fought for six years have suddenly been curtailed or contained or confined. It shows the level of conspiracy under Jonathan which to me I suspect to be “let us liquidate Nigeria by weakning the army,corrupt them,distract them,allow crises of all sorts to brew,militancy,ethnic,bokoharam,Biafra,ipob,avengers,so called Fulani herds men,loot as much as you can,and then we detonate the bomb. But unfortunate for them,man proposes while God disposes. Buhari won and the conspiracy failed. Where is tompolo,where is their so called shekau,and where is ipob?

    • Babagordy

      Abdulmojeed I will like to take you up on this statement you have just made that goes thus “Anything done in the military to the interest of the general well-being of the country” This is one of the most unreasonable statement I have heard someone made in the public place in recent times. Where were you when the former chief of air staff Badeh was using money meant for purchase of aircraft to buy US dollar for his personal use, Where were you when Kenneth Minimah and other retired Chief of Army staff converted money meant for soldiers to their personal use or Buratai who bought property worth 1.5millon dollar in dubai. Are these the same leadership of the military who are taking decisions that is in the interest of the general public? Most decisions in Nigerian Army are taken based on personal interest. If one commits the crimes these compulsorily retired officers stood accused of the army should send them to trial without further delay. They may earn custodial sentences if found guilty, however whoever is not keen on bringing the accused persons to justice is a liar who wants to see them out of the army by hook or crook

      • Abdulmojeed Nojeemdeen

        We have both not said anything different. “Anything done in the interest of the country” but you sited badeh who acted in the interest of his “belly”. The difference is clear. If some officers were discovered to have cut corner,and a necessary disciplinary action is melted to them,why showing them mercy. If some people are found have been illegally promoted,and the right thing was done,or somebody was discovered to have helped him or herself to the disadvantage of the public or someone was discovered to have betrayed the trust repose in him or her,what do you expect. The necessary actions ought to be taken. Let’s not try to interfere in the military effort to rid itself of the saboteurs and traitors.

    • Iskacountryman

      the military is a creation of the law and must follow the law…

      • Abdulmojeed Nojeemdeen

        In following the law too,they must follow the law. Part of which is,curbing the excesses of the media if it will put their obedience to the law at stake,which means if you must report, then report all that is good about the country. Most crises in the world were orchestrated by poor handling of these so called journalists. So if you must report,then report a good thing about your country. You must be loyal to somebody, your country or her enemy. You want to here from the journalists in order to entertain yourself,yes,there are many internal issues for such,like the jubrin, dogara saga,but the issue of security should not be for entertainment but must be taken serious,since there is nothing you can do even if you heard that pipe lines were blown up other than for some of you to shear up and applaud the vandals. So,in my view,part of obedience to the law is simply what those who can do something about the happenings in the area concerned(military) have done.

        • Iskacountryman

          curbing the excess of the media is not a job for the military but the courts…

          • Abdulmojeed Nojeemdeen

            You can cub somebody from intruding into your privacy not through the court. So army prevented “that vanguard” reporter from the army press release and not all reporters were prevented. Go and read the article again to know why and what ridiculous thing he did afterwards.

          • Iskacountryman

            who cares about the army’s tall tales….i would rather listen to shekau….the crazy one…

          • Abdulmojeed Nojeemdeen

            You will not the value of your roof until you it is raining, you will not know the value of window until it is cold,you will not your door is so important until your house is burgled,police are not valuable until armed robbers invades your area,you might ask those whose lives and Worth’s have been ruined by the bokoharam or the foreign criminal gangs, if they will say what you have just said. “Trusting shekau over the Nigerian army?because of what, hatred?ignorance,or the combination of both? Army,no matter what remains what is called a country.

          • Iskacountryman

            because shekau does not lie and he appears indestructibe…

          • Abdulmojeed Nojeemdeen

            Have you observed the picture of the so called shekau compared to the earlier one?lie number one,can shekau tell us where he adobted our chibok girls?check his inconsistent reasons, lie no two. In conclusion,though our army might have their short comings of high handedness,just like their counterparts all over the world,yet the Nigerian army still represent what is called discipline,more discipline than many countries. I don’t pray shekau treat you the way he has treated those he captured and then suddenly help comes from the Nigerian army. How will you feel. Please get to know also that,army all over the world,are not meant to build,but break,break the enemy,break the resistance, break the hurdle,wherever it might comes,within or without. So get it right.

          • Iskacountryman

            that confirms he is indestructible…he just changes skin…

          • Abdulmojeed Nojeemdeen

            Be realistic and stop applauding the enemy of the state. Because their action affect human being like you and I. Put yourself in their shoe. Shekau is a fake and destructible. Who cares about those behind the scene playing shekau like James bond. You might also tell me James bond is indestructible. And I will tell you the original James is dead long ago. The same is playing out now.

          • Iskacountryman

            okay go catch am now…

          • Abdulmojeed Nojeemdeen

            Guyif you are the shekau,dint worry your days are numbered.

          • Iskacountryman

            which number…i thought shekau was fatally wounded recently…

          • veritas

            ROTFLMFOA….. BUT na true you talk sha…

          • veritas

            lol. ROTFLMFAO. bro you made my day better than Shekau.

          • Iskacountryman

            please …i am not your bro…

          • veritas

            like Marvin in bruce Willis R.E.D. he keeps dying and re-awakens.

          • abodes_124

            The 374 Shhiites shot dead and some allegedly buried alive in Zaria by the Nigerian army may have fared better with Shekau than the Nigerian army

          • veritas

            well said. well said. God will bless you a 1000 times.

          • veritas

            lol. i am with you on that bro. the crazy Shekau guy makes me laugh after a sad day.

          • Iskacountryman

            stop…i did not promise you progress but change…and i am not ya bro…

          • veritas

            sorry my bad. you mis-understood me i guess. yes we are not bro’s. sometimes we say to taliban “Bro” before we kill them. people call their enemies bro too. seeing this is earth (terra aqualantia) and homo sapiens are the dominant species now. i used a term you are all familiar with. a lion and a cat might be cats but they are not family. I am not homo sapien like you. the few of us pretend to be simpletons like the vast population but in reality and genetically we have left humanity behind. enjoy your world while it lasts. World war 3 is around the corner. all will be lost for everyone and billions will die. Hurray!!!!!

          • Iskacountryman

            stop smoking whatsoever it is you are smoking…

          • M.Colonel Mariam

            closet terrorist sympathizer… have you no shame at all?

          • he has no idea who or what ur writing about!

          • Abdulmojeed Nojeemdeen

            You dey mind am?

        • dd you curb your media over the years?

        • abodes_124

          Journalists are there to report facts not covered by the Official secrets act. It is not for them to chose which facts are ‘good’ and which ones ‘bad’

      • veritas

        lol. the US, UK and civilised nation military. are you talking about them or your above the Nigerian law and constitution Nigerian Army

    • abodes_124

      One presumes you are one of the many government spokespersons who trawl the internet and as such you have laid bare the rationale for depopulating the higher echelon of southern officers in the Nigerian Army. I must say this is a bit kinder than the way it was done almost a month to the day 50 years ago. At least they are still alive – for now for which we should be grateful this time.. This is the state by state breakdown of those sacked [South and Middle belt indicated]
      Maj. Gen TC Ude (SE)
      Maj. Gen LC Ilo (SE)
      Maj. Gen IN Ijoma (SE)
      Maj. Gen O Ejimai (SE)
      Maj. Gen PAT Akem (SS)
      Maj. Gen ED Atewe (SS)
      Maj. Gen Letam Wiwa –[Younger brother of, Ken Saro-Wiwa] (SS)
      Maj. Gen FO Alli (SS)
      Maj. Gen Mobolaji Koleoso (SW)
      Maj. Gen SD Aliyu (MB)
      Maj. Gen MY Ibrahim

      Brig. Gen GO Agachi (SE)
      Brig. Gen Okonkwo (SE)
      Brig. Gen Ogidi (SS)
      Brig. Gen Koko Essien (SS)
      Brig. Gen PE Ekpeyong (SS)
      Brig. Gen Bright Fiboinumama (SS)
      Brig. Gen. M. Onoyiveta (SS)
      Brig. Gen IMD Lawson (SS)
      Brig. Gen Oyefesobi (SW)
      Brig. Gen AI Onibasa (SW)
      Brig. Gen Bashir Mormo (SS)
      Brig. Gen AH Sa’ad (SS)-Former ADC to President Musa Yar’adua
      Brig. Gen MG Ali
      Brig. Gen LN Bello
      Brig. Gen D Abdusalam

      Col. CK Ukoha (SE)
      Col. OU Nwankwo (SE)
      Col. Nicholas Achinze -Dasuki’s ADC (SE)
      Col. Tonye F Minimah –Younger brother of former Chief of Army Staff, General Kenneth Minimah (SS)
      Col. FD Kayode (SW) Col. Ojogbane Adegbe –ADC to former President Goodluck Jonathan (MB)
      Col. Audu (MB)
      Col. DR Hassan
      Col. MA Suleiman

      Lt. Col GC Nyekwu (SS)
      Lt. Col C Enechukwu (SE)
      Lt. Col CO Amadi (SE)
      Lt. Col Adimoha (SS)
      Lt. Col OC Egemode (SS)
      Lt. Col TE Arigbe (SW)
      Lt. Col TO Oladuntoye (SW)
      Lt. Col Baba Ochankpa (MB)
      Lt. Col DB Dazang (MB)
      Lt. Col A Mohammed
      Lt. Col AS Mohammed

      • Abdulmojeed Nojeemdeen

        Story….

        • abodes_124

          Thank you for confirming. One presumes you are at about director level in the Ministry of information.

  • Gabriel Olasebikan

    Nothing here seems to suggest that there is no witch hunt. I strongly suggest the COAS do the needful.

    1.Let the COAS bring out to the public the Board Of Inquiry Report
    2.The COAS should let the public see the officers charge sheets
    3.The COAS should let the public see the summary of trials held by a Military Court Martial if any
    4.The COAS should let the public see the minutes of the Army Council meeting where these decisions were taken.

  • suleiman

    Please be reminded that nothing in this government suggests it follows due process in any of its decisions. Why do you expect anything different in this case? If the officers are aggrieved and have no cobwebs in the wardrobes, they should go to court. After all, we are no longer in a military dictatorship! I see no reason to weep more than the bereaved here. After all, the Nigerian Military is one of the most corrupt institutions in the country.

  • Solomon Brown

    Stop gagging comments PT, publish my response to Abdulmojeed Nonentitydeen.

  • Hank

    Buhari is playing defense…trying to avoid military takeover. Buhari was betrayed by trusted friends as head of state and now, no more chances.

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