The Nigerian military on Friday confirmed a PREMIUM TIMES exclusive report revealing the arrest of generals and senior officers following the fall of Baga to Boko Haram terrorists.
The Defence spokesperson, Chris Olukolade, in a statement said, “Nigerian officers in key command positions of the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) are in the process of accounting for their actions leading to the loss of weapons, men and location in their area of responsibility in the mission area.”
Mr. Olukolade said the process is essential in extracting and collating relevant information for subsequent missions.
He also said the interrogation of the top officers would help determine appropriate disciplinary measures where necessary.
PREMIUM TIMES had on Thursday exclusively reported how a Brigadier General, Enitan Ransome-Kuti, his Chief of Staff, Lieutenant Colonel G.A. Suru and some other senior officers were arrested by the authorities of the Nigerian military for failing to repel the January 3 attack on the headquarters of the Multinational Joint Task Force, MNJTF, in Baga.
Mr. Ransome-Kuti, the Commander of the MNJTF, his Chief of Staff and the other senior officers, are being held at the officers’ Mess of the 21 Armoured Brigade in Maiduguri, shortly after they arrived Maiduguri from Monguno where they and their troops took refuge after they were dislodged from Baga.
Sources told this newspaper that among those arrested are the Commanding Officers of the 134 and 174 Battalions — a Lieutenant Colonel Haruna and a Major Aliyu. The two battalions are under the MNJTF but were also dislodged from their locations during the Boko Haram offensive of January 3.
Mr. Aliyu is an acting commanding officer of the 134 battalion. PREMIUM TIMES learnt that the substantive commanding officer of the battalion, a Lieutenant Colonel Etang is already facing court-martial following a previous attack on his battalion on November 5, 2014.
Our sources said military authorities are disappointed that the attack on Baga was not repelled by troops of both battalions and the MNJTF headquarters despite all weapons made available to them.
Also, it was revealed that the Brigade Commander of the 5 Brigade, Monguno, Brigadier General Yekini, who was injured in the Monguno attack on Sunday, is yet to be arrested because he is still receiving treatment for injuries sustained during the attack, PREMIUM TIMES reported.
He has been placed under close watch on his hospital bed, and might be fully detained once he is discharged from hospital, our sources said.