Army probes Ek­iti, Osun elec­tions

Daily Trust - - FRONT PAGE - By Ron­ald Mu­tum

The Nige­rian Army yes­ter­day set up a panel to in­ves­ti­gate al­leged mal­prac­tices and in­volve­ment of its per­son­nel in Ek­iti and Osun states gu­ber­na­to­rial elec­tions held last year.

The terms of ref­er­ence of the Board of In­quiry (BOI) is to also re­view the in­volve­ment of the Nige­rian Army for­ma­tions/ units and its per­son­nel in elec­tions and other du­ties in aid to civil author­ity, a state­ment by the army spokesper­son Col. Sani Us­man said.

“The BOI is to in­ves­ti­gate the al­leged un­pro­fes­sional and un­eth­i­cal con­duct of some Nige­rian Army per­son­nel in Ek­iti and Osun States’ Gu­ber­na­to­rial Elec­tions 2014, as well as in any other State in Nige­ria where other al­le­ga­tions of mis­con­duct were made dur­ing the 2015 Gen­eral Elec­tions in the coun­try,” he said.

“The essence of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion is to pre­vent fu­ture un­pro­fes­sional con­duct by of­fi­cers and men in the per­for­mance of con­sti­tu­tional roles.

“It is also to strengthen Nige­rian Army’s sup­port to demo­cratic val­ues and struc­tures in Nige­ria,” the army said.

Last year, Cap­tain Sa­gir Koli, an of­fi­cer in the Nige­rian Army leaked an au­dio ev­i­dence of how some top of­fi­cials of the fed­eral gov­ern­ment and chief­tains of the Peo­ples Demo­cratic Party (PDP) used the army and other se­cu­rity agen­cies to rig the gov­er­nor­ship elec­tion in Ek­iti and Osun states.

Koli, a mil­i­tary in­tel­li­gence of­fi­cer at the 32 Ar­tillery Brigade in Akure, Ondo State, went into hid­ing af­ter re­leas­ing the au­dio for fear for his life.

He later re­leased a de­tailed state­ment en­ti­tled: “How Nige­rian Army per­son­nel were used to rig Ek­iti and Osun States Gu­ber­na­to­rial Elec­tions 2014.”

In the state­ment, the of­fi­cer pro­vided de­tails of all that tran­spired be­tween him­self, his com­mand­ing of­fi­cer, two min­is­ters and some politi­cians prior to the elec­tions in Ek­iti State.

So far, the army has re­versed some de­ci­sions it ear­lier took un­der former Pres­i­dent Good­luck Jonathan’s ad­min­is­tra­tion. One of such de­ci­sions was the re­call of some of its of­fi­cers and per­son­nel dis­missed for run­ning away from the front­lines dur­ing the fight against Boko Haram ter­ror­ists.

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