Six Nigerian Army officers might be court-martialed over the capture of Mubi, the second largest city in Adamawa State, by members of the dreaded Boko Haram sect.
Earlier, five military commanders were handcuffed and detained at the military police guard room at the 23 Brigade headquarters in Yola, the Adamawa state capital, for allegedly abandoning Mubi and leaving it to Boko Haram militants last Wednesday.
The officers, whose names were given as Colonel Ibrahim, Lt. Colonel Magaji and three others were said to have abandoned the 213 Brigade headquarters a few minutes after Boko Haram militants reached Mararaba and Hildi on the outskirts of Mubi.
Reports say that the Brigade Commander of the 23rd Armoured Brigade Yola, Colonel O.O Popoola is also being quizzed at the Military Headquarters, Abuja, on the role of his command in the fall of 234 Battalion Mubi Barrack.
A top military source who would not want to be identified said “six senior military officers from the command are presently being interrogated over the fall of Mubi.
“Some Colonels and other senior officers have been invited to Abuja to give account of their activities or negligence that led to the fall of Mubi town. Honestly our Brigade Commander has been summoned while many soldiers have been detained,” the source added.
The soldiers’ story
One of the soldiers who took part in the fierce battle told reporters that they were overpowered by the insurgents. He said the Nigerian troop lost the battle because they lacked weapons.
“We mobilised at Uba, Maraba Mubi and Mubi town itself to liberate Michika and Madagali from the hand of insurgents.
“We were not well equipped and we sent advance team. Our advance team engaged the insurgents.”
“After hours of exchange battle, we were on the receiving end and had to retreat due to the superior fire power of the insurgents. They used sophisticated weapons including AA ( Anti-Aircraft) and RPGs”.
He said after the Nigerian troop retreated, the insurgents gave them a hot chase into Mubi.
“Those soldiers who were at Maraba Mubi and other military posts at Uba, Hildi and other military outposts were overwhelmed. And without wasting time, the boys overran Mubi.
In the meantime, Defence sources say that investigations are ongoing as to the cause of abandonment of the battle by the commanders.
Another set of commanders from the 234 Brigade have allegedly been detained by the military authorities after they left the MRS Hospital in Yola.
The commanders include Lt. Col O.A Agwu and his lieutenants. They equally fled the battle scene in Mubi, even though Lt. Col Agwu’s pick up van somersaulted twice and crashed injuring him and his lieutenants.
Mubi had three army battalions comprising of the “234 Brigade, the 213 Brigade and the 21 Support Group” when it fell to militants last week.
As it is now, the Nigeria troops are yet to regain the lost territories from the hands of the insurgents.
The spokesperson of the Defence Headquarters, Chris Olukolade, declined to confirm or deny the arrest and probe of the top officers.
He only said, “Anyone who is found negligent in his duty or culpable for any operational lapse will have to account for his action and where necessary face the appropriate sanction.”