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How 16 Army Generals Were Unjustly Eased Out Of Service, Despite Malami’s Interventions

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Nine Major Generals and 7 Brigadier Generals ‘arbitrarily’ sacked by the Nigerian Army in 2016 for not justifiable reasons have been technically eased out of the service, despite interventions of Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami.

PRNigeria gathered that the affected generals have reached their run out date this year and cannot be reinstated into the military even after the resolutions of the National Assembly (NASS) and several courts ordered their reinstatements which were flagrantly ignored by the Nigerian Army.

 

The affected military generals were among the 38 Army Officers that were compulsorily retired on 9 June 2016 without any cogent reason.

 

The affected officers ‘technically’ eased out of service while waiting for justice are Major Generals F. O. Alli, E.J. Atewe, I.N. Ijioma, L.C. Ilo, T.C. Ude, L. Wiwa, S.D. Aliyu, M.Y. Ibrahim and O. Ejemai.

The Brigadier Generals arere D. M. Onoyeiveta, A.S.O. Mormoni-Bashir, A.S.H Sa’ad, L.M. Bello, K.A. Essien, B. A. Fiboinumama and I. M. Lawson.

Meanwhile, three brigadier Generals: D. Abdusalam, A. I. Onibasa and G.O. Agachi can still be reinstated as they still have active years to serve.

 

Several attempts by Malami, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), to resolve the impasse between the Army Generals and their military authorities were also futile.

 

PRNigeria gathered from credible investigation that the Army Council, then presided by the trio of Mr. Mohammed Mansur Dan-Alli (then Minister for Defence), General AG Olonsakin (then Chief of Defence Staff) and Lt Gen TY Buratai (then Chief of Army Staff) sat and announced the compulsory retirement of the 38 Army officers.

 

The announcement of the compulsory retirement of the 38 officers was made via the media even before the affected officers were eventually informed by text messages of their retirement, sources revealed to PRNigeria.

 

While announcing the compulsory retirement to the media, the Nigerian Army claimed that the 38 Army officers that were compulsorily retired have been investigated and found professionally corrupt in defence procurement and/or election-related offences in the 2015 General Elections.

But one of the sources, with vast knowledge on the case, maintained that none of the 38 Army Officers that were compulsorily retired was ever investigated or court-martialled before their public compulsory retirement.

The source, a senior serving military personnel, who asked not to be named, said: “None of the affected officers was ever at any time before their public compulsory retirement queried, notified of any culpability, or subjected to any military police investigation and none was ever court-martialed – these are the mandatory disciplinary process in the military as recognized by law!

 

“The Army records will show that none of the 38 Army Officers that were compulsorily retired was ever charged with any infraction in accordance with expressed procedures in Armed Forces Act CAP A20 The Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.”

Another source, while confiding in PRNigeria, said that after their public retirement, many of the victimized officers wrote to the Army leadership under Lieutenant General Buratai, asking to be furnished with facts that constitute any alleged offense as stated in their respective letters of compulsory retirement, but regrettably, the Army failed to respond to this simple request over 5 years now.

 

“Some of the affected officers also sent letters of redress to both the Senate and the House of Representatives on the victimization of the 38 Army officers. The Nigerian Congress through their respective Public Petition Committees investigated the matter and were shocked that the Army could not provide any allegation of wrongdoing against the officers whose careers were publicly cut short.

 

“After their respective investigations of the matter, both Houses had admonished the Nigerian Army over arbitrary disengagement of officers without any wrongdoing and due process and warned that such abuse of office would discourage serving officers and soldiers from giving their full commitment to the service of the nation. Both chambers of the National Assembly further recommended the immediate reinstatement of the affected officers.

“The resolutions were duly forwarded to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and the Chief of Army Staff, but these resolutions of Congress have been completely ignored which indicates a deliberate pattern of abuse against these innocent officers,” he said.

 

Checks by PRNigeria indicates that after the refusal of the Nigerian army to reinstate the officers based on the resolutions of the National Assembly and court orders, Malami, through the Solicitor General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice, wrote letters and reminders to the military authorities in October 2019, November 2020 and even in February 2021 seeking clarification “over grave acts of injustice and unlawful compulsory retirement from service Senior Officers.”

In one of the letters, which was also sighted by PRNigeria, Malami reminded the Army Chief that he was yet to receive any response for the initial letter he had sent, in order for him to advise Mr. President appropriately.

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27 abducted train passengers not yet released, says Negotiator

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A total of 27 remaining abducted train passengers are still being held by their captors, a Kaduna-based publisher and former negotiator, Malam Tukur Mamu, has said.

He was on Tuesday reacting to reports of their release by military authorities trending on social media since Monday, saying in a statement that the hostages were still in captivity.

He stated, “Though I have disengaged myself from negotiating, anxious family members, pressmen and concerned Nigerians have been calling to confirm the veracity of the news.

“While many others justifiably have been celebrating and even congratulating relatives of the innocent victims.”

Mamu who is also Sheikh Ahmed Gumi’s spokesman noted that though “it is news we are all praying earnestly to hear, it is highly irresponsible for peddlers of FAKE NEWS to circulate sensitive contents that are not only unverifiable, untrue but news items that will certainly trigger anxiety and concern among the family members of those that remain in captivity and millions of their well-wishers across the globe.

“The condition of the remaining victims is still very bad, many of them are sick, and the rainy season is affecting them so much.

“I urge President Muhammadu Buhari to intensify efforts in securing their release immediately as the situation remains highly unpredictable while the families of those that are still in the bush are incapacitated in whatever way to negotiate the safe release of their loved ones, he declared.”

Over 60 passengers of an Abuja-Kaduna train were abducted by terrorists who attacked their train near Kaduna and killed about eight other passengers.

The terrorists have released other passengers in batches after the relatives of  the victims reportedly paid undisclosed amount as ransom.

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Lalong apologises to Catholic bishops over comment on Pope

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Plateau State Governor and Director-General of the Presidential Campaign team All Progressives Congress, Simon Lalong, has apologised to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria over his unpopular statement to the Holy Father, Pope Francis.

Lalong, while reacting to his recent appointment by the ruling APC to spearhead the presidential campaign of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu said Pope had not disapproved his support for a Muslim-Muslim ticket.

His statement had attracted heavy criticisms from Catholic faithful across the country, with some calling for his suspension from the church.

Lalong’s apology was contained in a letter addressed to the President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, Lucius Iwejuru Ugorji, dated August 12.

In the letter, the Plateau governor said he realised that his comment had brought “embarrassment” to the Catholic Church, especially to the family of Papal Knights.

The letter read in part, “I have followed with some shock and deep regret, the reactions that have trailed my appointment as the Director-General of the Campaign Council for the Presidential Candidates of our Party, the All Progressive Congress, APC, Ahmed Bola Tinubu and Ibrahim Shettima,” the letter reads.

“The appointment understandably was received with mixed reactions across the Christian community who genuinely feel aggrieved by the decision of our party to settle for a Muslim-Muslim ticket.

“While many people commended me for the appointment and saw it as a way of remaining within the system to fight for our interests, others cast aspersions on it on the grounds that our faith had been insulted and denigrated.

“In the course of this, many of my opponents turned the issue into a political weapon with some spreading rumours and questioning the integrity of my credentials as a Catholic and a Papal Knight. In trying to make my case, I have granted interviews to justify why I believe that the appointment did not in any way undermine my commitment to the Catholic Church.

“During the week, in the course of defending myself, I had cause to make reference to my credentials as a Catholic and a Papal Knight. In the process, I made reference to the Holy Father.

“I now realise that this was an error on my part and has caused some level of concern and even embarrassment to many especially the Members of the family of Papal Knights to which I belong.

“I now understand that I may have overreached myself in the course of trying to defend my personal decision in accepting this appointment and thus, the reference to the holy father was not intended as an act of disrespect to his exalted and revered office.

“Your Grace, by this written letter, I wish to tender my unreserved apologies and ask for their understanding and forgiveness from my brothers in the Catholic faith and, through you, the entire members of the Bishops’ Conference, our Fathers and our Leaders. My commitment to the Catholic faith to which | belong remains unreserved and undiluted.

“I will continue to uphold the banner of my faith in public life as I have done over the years. You may recall, Your Grace that in the last five or so years, I have been at the forefront of facilitating our dialogue as politicians with you our fathers in the faith. I remain committed to this and pray that you will continue to encourage us as we ascend the slippery slope of politics. While soliciting your episcopal blessings.”

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ASUU strike: Parents reply Keyamo, give conditions to beg lecturers

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The National Parents Teachers Association of Nigeria (NAPTAN) has said it will only beg the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to call off its prolonged strike if government considers the reports of the various committees set up to look into the matter and come out with its decisions.

The parents said it expected the Federal Government to come out publicly with its offers in order to know how they could intervene in the matter.

NAPTAN spoke through its National President, Alhaji Haruna Danjuma, in an interview with Vanguard on Sunday.

The association was reacting to an interview where the Minister of State for Labour, Mr Festus Keyamo(SAN) asked Nigerians, especially parents, to beg members of ASUU to return to their duty posts.

Keyamo also said the government would not go borrowing to meet the demands of the union.

“Let the Federal Government consider all the reports of the various committees it set up to negotiate with ASUU.

“There was a committee led by the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, among numerous committees.

“There has never been a time when parents are involved in the negotiation. We don’t want a situation where somebody will pitch us against ASUU or any group.

“The negotiation should involve parents, NANS, ASUU and government team.

“What the government should do is consider the reports of those committees and look at areas they can afford or work on and present same to ASUU. If whatever they can afford is unacceptable to the unions, then parents and others can come in to intervene,” Danjuma said.

National President of ASUU, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, in an interview, also said it was a subtle blackmail for anybody to insinuate that the union was pushing the government to borrow.

He advised the government to get its priorities right address the impasse.

He said, “We are not asking the government to go borrowing. But since the minister is a Nigerian, he should know what our demands are. Our demands include that they implement the Memorandum of Action signed in 202 with us.

“The document says government will release the first tranche of the Revitalisation Fund, pay Earned Academic Allowance, stop proliferation of universities and renegotiate the 2009 agreement, among others.

“They have set up a committee to renegotiate the 2009 Agreement and they are yet to come up with anything from the report of the committee they set up. I wonder why some people behave as if they are living in another world entirely. Is it because they are occupying public offices that they seem to exist in another planet?”

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