Army officer who called service chiefs “Nollywood actors” loses children, driver in car crash

Nigerian Army
Nigerian Army

Two children of T.J Abdallah, an infantry officer who called Nigerian service chiefs, “Nollywood actors” in a private WhatsApp group have died in a car accident as the family travelled to visit him in detention in Maiduguri, Borno State, after he became incommunicado for several weeks, PREMIUM TIMES can report today.

The Abdallah family driver also perished in the auto crash while his wife, who suffered serious injury in the crash was left battling for her life, sources familiar with the matter told this newspaper.

Mr Abdallah, a lieutenant Colonel and commanding officer (CO) of 151 battalion stationed at Banki Junction, Borno, criticised the military hierarchy for what he described as poor management of the war against terror in the Nigerian north east region.  He made the remarks in a WhatsApp group operated by the 49 regular cadet class of the National Defence Academy (NDA).

An army investigation into the activities of the WhatsApp group indicted Mr. Abdallah, describing his comments as “seditious and derogatory” against the nation’s political and military leadership, slurring him as a fifth columnist in the Nigerian Army.

Knowledgeable sources in the army said he was also recommended to be relieved of his command, subjected to vetting, and put out of future consideration for “any command or sensitive appointment.”

Mr. Abdallah’s difficult journey to this awful hurt started with his November 2016 arrest; his subsequent detention; all culminating in the tragic loss of his children on January 7, according to accounts of several sources familiar with the case.

The grief-stricken infantry man was released to freedom two days after the tragedy.

For his family, it was an untried path to a sad journey. Worried that she had not heard from her husband for weeks, and fearing the worst had happened, Mr. Abdallah’s wife travelled to Maiduguri  from Jaji, Kaduna State on two occasions to make enquiries about his whereabouts but on both occasions got no clarity from army authorities one source said.

On January 7, 2017, however, she decided to travel with her children to seek more information about her husband’s whereabouts. At the outskirts of Maiduguri, they got involved in a deadly auto crash  that killed his two children and the family driver PREMIUM TIMES was told.

She was left fighting for her life with a fractured neck and two broken legs, those familiar with the matter said.  PREMIUM TIMES could not ascertain his whereabouts on Wednesday. He could also not be reached to comment for this story.

Army spokesperson, Sani Usman, a brigadier general, declined comments saying he had nothing to say because he was not given opportunity to speak before the first part of this story was published.


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  • Omole

    I am against any person trying to rubbish the image of Nigeria Armed Forces. His comment was too reckless of his status and position in the Nigeria Army. However, my condolences to him.

    • king

      Don’t forget another soldier made same comment and claim during Jonathan administration and he was rewarded with promotion and currently having good time abroad by this same govt. why this double standard?

      • emmanuel

        Yeahhhh, this government is a satanic cult. Band of deceivers.
        Politics of tyrants become destructive to their supporters eventually

      • Baka

        That soldier exposed rigging of an election by PDP and that is a welcome development. Any soldier that will exposed rigging by APC will also be welcome but for a military man to berate his superiors on social media such soldier is indiscipline and most be dealt with.

    • Nigeria in the Abyss

      Does speaking the truth amount to ‘rubbishing the image of the Nigeria armed forces’?
      Remember you also wrote this some months back:

      A Discussion on The Punch 55 comments
      AS RANSOM COURIERS, WE GOT N13M -SOLDIERS.

      “Omole 4 months ago:
      I have always thought that military men are part of these kidnapping gangs. They have the technics. Unfortunately, they will soon be released.”

      Did your comment then also amount to ‘rubbishing the image of the Nigerian Army’?

      • Otile

        That is the nature of some Yorubas, two faced.

        • Mufu Ola

          Mr dumb as usual!

  • omotosho olanipekun

    What have Nigerians gotten themselves into with this APC contraption?

    • Otile

      Boo hoo, we told you so.

      • He’s a fraud he’s one of yours.

    • okoro okpra use your own native name.

  • Aminu

    I don’t believe this accident is natural. It should be investigated and STOP deleting my comments.

    • Civil Defence Corps.

      @disqus_4ljMGFA5l7:disqus

      IT IS TIME TO RELEASE THE OFFICER from prison
      to enable him soberly mourn the death of almost his entire family. If he were
      to be convicted by an army tribunal the sanction to be imposed couldn’t reach
      this tragic point of losing his children, and, facing the prospect of a paraplegic
      wife whose neck and legs are said to have been broken in this deadly accident.

  • VERITAS_ the rock of ages_

    Ha.Nigeria has worked out “low impact kinetic operations”. Something tells me a lot of people will start dying soon under mysteriously natural causes..

  • Mufu Ola

    The officer is simply daft.If he has to call his seniors names, was it supposed to be on WhatApp? The authorities were right to detain him.No military in d world will tolerate such indiscipline & indiscretion.

    • Chris Debbler

      If you know little about the military, or military officers, it’s wise not to quickly judge those that serve in the military. I belong to a whatsapp group with military officers, other ranks and civilians and the things we discuss, whether we are bashing the govt or praising it, stays in the group, all because of the bond we share and the one thing we all have in common, the institution we went through. Officers that pass through the academy have the same bond maybe tighter with their course mate and in his case it was 49th Regular. For that chat to have leaked, someone betrayed the trust of the entire group. Most people would do the worst things if they knew they would get away with it. So I don’t believe he was that far off to have vented to his brothers in arms for the poorly managed war that had already claimed at least 4 of his course mates, maybe even close friends,

      • Mufu Ola

        Those who betrayed him have their blame. That’s why I use the word “indiscretion”It’s dangerous to over trust in military.

      • Arabakpura

        The army officers who banter with you on military matters are fools; they shouldn’t be in the army in the first place!

    • emmanuel

      @ king • 6 hours ago

      Don’t forget another soldier made same comment and claim during Jonathan administration and he was rewarded with promotion and currently having good time abroad by this same govt. why this double standard?

      Mumu Ola, have you forgotten your position when in the last days of Jonathans administration an Officer indicted the Army on election issues?

      • Mufu Ola

        That case was different bcos the senior officer involved (Brig Momoh) turned himself to ‘boy boy’ of Fayose & co. That was a major plank of that whistle blower’s grievance.

        • emmanuel

          You have come here with your lies. Ade has tutored you on your Islamic lies with Onike at SR. We suddenly saw you run away when the heat was on.
          Ade a great man who has tasted of the two sides of faith, has exposed lots of the lies in what drives your satanic life.
          If the Army is the sam, how come he was not disciplined thereafter? This is supposed to be a government of change from status-quo

          • Mufu Ola

            Me run away? U apparently think I’m so idle that I spend all my entire day on my pad or replying all junks. I have my time table for everything I do.

      • Arabakpura

        Did not Jonathan attempt to lure him back to be punished? Did he not make his comments when on AWOL? This officer should have run away before saying what he said! It’s no double standard and the Jonathan army man was smarter knowing that he who fights and runs away will leave to fight another day!

  • Mentus

    Am I wrong in believing that a law was being proposed to protect whistle blowers. I suppose if some of us were actually part of the
    ill-equipped infantry being sent to fight well equipped BH we will understand where he was coming from

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  • kayode Olufade

    Its sad what happened to his family! The military has a strict code of conduct and discipline, what he did isn’t allowed in military circles. You cannot in anyway slur your superior. The military: the world over, is run by a different set of rules from what civilians know. If infact the military overstepped, he has the right to recourse in military court. As earlier mentioned though, it is sad what happened to his family and may God give him the grace to bear the loss

    • Otile

      Don’t support evil. What is the penalty for exposing a corrupt Fulani officer, assassination? Stop praising this evil man called Buratai, people like you embolden him to suppress the media, clamp down and fire shots at civilians demonstrating for their civil rights. Do you know how many innocent people Buhari and Buratai have sent to their early graves since 2015? You never know, one day you may be a victim of this brutal regime, keep on singing praises for your masters

      • kayode Olufade

        Your argument eminates from emotions while the military is conducted by strict rules of conduct, if you were military you’d understand. He made comments he shouldn’t have (not withstanding the correctness or falseness of his allusions). Such conduct is frowned upon in the military and unless such rules are changed there is nothing no one can do about it because it happens in all military formations the world over. And as to being a victim one day, we all are victims of any and every government that has held sway in Nigeria, that’s why we are where we are but it is no excuse not to think logically instead of emotionally

        • Otile

          Again don’t generalize, it is not the norm of every military establishment in the world to carry our assassination on junior officers who expose them. Where is it written in any military code of conduct? That code of conduct may be unique to Fulani army, Afghan army, and a few other blood socking dictators. Lest you forget Nigerians voted for a democratic government not the type of regime your Fulani masters are turning the Nigerian army to. I don’t like how you have stiffed your own emotion just to please your murderous Fulani masters.

          • kayode Olufade

            The officer in question was set free albeit after the tragedy that befell him. No military formation will treat cases of insubordination with kids gloves and while every military has it’s way of dealing with such cases Nigeria isn’t the only one where officers who have made similar comments were locked up in the stockade! My emotions aren’t stiffled but goes to the officer for suffering such great losses. My agreements are based on mere facts and not to please anyone but my conscience, I pray it’s the same way for you too

      • Peaceometer

        Hhuuuuuuu!! . Still there?

      • Baka

        Mr primitive sentiment otile, Buratai is not a Fulani man, he is Babur, a minority tribe in the north. Thank God, Abdallah is a hausa Fulani and not an Igbo or a southerner, people like you would have linked his plight to his tribe or religion as usual.

        What idiots and loosers like you need to know is that discipline is the soul of an army and no soldier no matter what should publicly berates his superiors.

        As for the misfortune that befell the family of Abdallah, may God shower His mercy on the deceased and hastened the speedy recovery of the wounded. Such incidents are part of challenges we experience on daily basis not only in Nigeria which has bad roads but in USA and other European countries with good road.

        • Otile

          Ignorant Baka, Babur is sub Fulani or what they call variate of Fulani. Get some knowledge. Put another way, Babur Fillanci ne, saboda da haka suka duka taya. Yaro, ka ji ko?

  • Sir Louis

    The Army is responsible for the tragedy that came upon this military officer. Granted that he did wrong to criticise his superiors, what was the point in not disclosing to his wife and children the whereabout of their bread winner so that they would not be apprehensive to leave Kaduna for Maiduguri, to look for him? Nigeria is becoming too sick and inhuman and it is shameful that the military cannot even learn how to protect their own, no matter what happens!

    • Arabakpura

      That is how shit happens! It’s an unfortunate and painful lesson!

  • Rominiyis

    SAD, . A man serving his country in the war front putting his life on the line. Isn’t that enough trial for him?

  • isaac

    What cases of insubordination? The truth is thruth. There no two way about it.

  • Peaceometer

    .the fugitive can join terrorists. .he’s committed containment assault and insubordination.

    • Solomon Brown

      I doubt you’d ever find the coordination to type anything meaningful in your life after you’ve made it back from the front lines with an FN rifle battling well armed terrorists with AK-47’s. Arm chair commander.

    • Alex

      What happened to that family will surly decend on you the day you ever speak the truth.

      • Peaceometer

        I remain with the truth, the oaths to federal government security has been betrayed by the guy. And I will not course you, your one finger to me is returning four fold to you. It’s natural.

  • Solomon Brown

    TJ Abdallah you are a patriot, it is indeed sad you have to go through these trying times. Out of your genuine love for country, you spoke the truth, to many you might have come across as unprofessional, but to those of us who know and appreciate your service, you did the RIGHT thing. May the Almighty grant you the fortitude to bear this loss. Our prayers are with you. Nagode Sosai!

  • Spoken word

    Chai

  • MammanJiyaVatsa

    …..Courage soldier,……..courage !

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  • westman

    Serious? Why ? His whole family. Pathetic.

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  • Keen Observer

    So pathetic brother, please accept my condolence for this great & irreparable loss