The Nigerian Army has confirmed that five soldiers assigned to escort a Very Important Personality (VIP) from Sokoto to Kaduna robbed and absconded with money but denied that the money belonged to Major General HO Otiki or the Army.
In a statement signed by Colonel Sagir Musa, Acting Director Army Public Relations, the Nigerian Army said: “While it was true the personnel have absconded with large amounts of money belonging to a VIP they were assigned to escort to Kaduna, the exact amount is not known to 8 Division Nigerian Army or the then General Officer Commanding (GOC) the Division, Major General HO Otiki as was fallaciously imputed in some unverified media reports”.
“It should be important to clarify that neither the GOC or any personnel of the Division is aware of the exact amount of money in possession of the VIP at the time of this uncommon, embarrassing, obnoxious and painful incident. It is only the person involved (the VIP) that knows the total amount involved and disclose to the media if need be”.
“In the face of this disgraceful, embarrassing and unimaginable professional infraction by the five soldiers, who connived and orchestrated the robbery and thereafter deserted/ absconded, the Nigerian Army authority has on receiving the report, constituted a high powered committee to holistically, thoroughly and decisively investigate the sad incident”.
“For record and posterity, this was what happened and has since been reported to all the Nigerian Army formations and units and the public for awareness and possible arrest of the criminals when seen:
“The under listed 5 soldiers of operation HARBIN KUNAMA III Sokoto were detailed on escort duty from Sokoto to Kaduna at about 1500 hours on 11th July 2019. The VIP was in a white Hilux, while the escorts were in a Buffalo gun truck. The soldiers connived and robbed the VIP at gun point on their way to Kaduna. They however abandoned the gun truck at the airstrip in Jaji. They have since scattered in different directions including Jos, Suleja etc. as indicated in last geoloc tracking”.
“Nigerians are by this notice advised to intercept the following individuals or report them to any police station:
- Cpl Gabriel Oluwaniyi 07083502341 08063406601.
- Cpl Mohammed Aminu 07034619455.
- LCpl Commander Haruna 08039594638.
4 LCpl Oluji Joshua 08137622689.
- LCpl Hayatudeen 08033756986.
All the above listed 5 soldiers were attached from Infantry Corp Centre Jaji”.
“All formations and units of the Nigerian Army have been alerted and requested to direct their men to be on the lookout for these 5 deserting and disgraceful soldiers. They are to be apprehended and handed over to 8 Div. Provost Group for prompt action/ prosecution”.
“The Nigerian Army as a respected institution, under the able leadership of Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai, will do all that is necessary to fish out these criminals. Such kinds of individuals, once discovered, – have no place in today’s Nigerian Army.