President Muhammadu Buhari has accepted the immediate resignation of the Service Chiefs, and their retirement from service.
Those involved are the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas; and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar.
President Buhari thanks the outgoing Service Chiefs for what he calls their “overwhelming achievements in our efforts at bringing enduring peace to our dear country,” wishing them well in their future endeavours.
The new Service Chiefs are: Major-General Leo Irabor, Chief of Defence Staff; Major-General I. Attahiru, Chief of Army Staff; Rear Admiral A.Z Gambo, Chief of Naval Staff; and Air-Vice Marshal I.O Amao, Chief of Air Staff.
The President congratulates the new Service Chiefs, and urges them to be loyal and dedicated in the discharge of their responsibilities.
Femi Adesina Special Adviser to the President (Media and Publicity) January 26, 2021
The trial of a former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Adesola Amosu (retd) continued on January 18, 2021, before Justice Chukwujekwu Aneke of a Federal High Court, Ikoyi with a witness of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC further testifying against Amosu and two others on their complicity in the alleged diversion to personal use of about N21billion belonging to the Nigeria Air Force, NAF.
Amosu, alongside Air Vice Marshall Jacobs Adigun, a former NAF Chief of Accounts and Budget, and Air Commodore Gbadebo Owodunni, a former NAF Director of Finance and Budget, are standing trial on an amended 13-count charge. Their trial began in June 2016 before Justice Idris Mohammed, but was later reassigned to Justice Aneke following the elevation of Justice Mohammed to the Court of Appeal. They were re-arraigned in November 2018 and they pleaded “not guilty” to the charges.
Continuing with his examination-in-chief, Okechukwu Akubue, who is testifying as the first prosecution witness, narrated how public funds meant for the NAF were traced to the defendants.
Led in evidence by prosecuting counsel, Suleiman Suleiman, the witness, who is an EFCC operative, identified Exhibit A3 before the Court as the bank statement of the NAF Special Emergency Operations Account domiciled in Zenith Bank.
According to him, the bank statement was part of the responses to letters of investigation sent to several financial institutions by the EFCC.
Identifying Adigun and Owodunni as the signatories to the account as indicated by the bank mandate, he noted that the EFCC had in 2015 received intelligence report on the alleged fraud.
Narrowing down to the transaction of April 8, 2014 in the statement, Akubue noted that the entry was an inflow of N1billion from one of the NAF account domiciled in Skye Bank (now Polaris Bank).
He said: “The account where the money came from is also one of the accounts under investigation.
“One of the disbursements from the N1billion is the sum of N16, 980,000 on the 17th of April 2014 to a firm known as Delcon Installers Limited.
“We did further investigation of the company and we gathered that the money was not used to procure services for NAF.”
Akubue further highlighted the transaction of the 28th of August 2014, noting that “a credit sum of N1billion came from NIMASA”.
He explained further that in the course of investigation, the investigating team came across a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU between NIMASA and NAF for the protection of Nigeria’s waterways, which prompted the credit of N1billion from NIMASA to NAF.
“In our investigation, we came across a debit of N4, 801,549 withdrawn on 2nd September 2014 from this inflow, into the account of Hebron Housing and Property,” Akubue said, adding that the company was linked to the second defendant “by way of ownership” and was used to “purchase assets on behalf of the defendants”.
The case has been adjourned till 19th January, 2021 for “continuation of trial”.
Borno State Governor, Babagana Umara Zulum is saddened by the killing of 11 security personnel made up of eight policemen and three civilian JTF members ambushed on their way to Baga as security backup in reconstruction efforts.
The governor was in Baga from Thursday to Friday in part to supervise efforts to return residents as part of strategies that aim to cut Boko Haram’s long use of the commercial town as main transit for undertaking major fishing trade and tax administration from which the insurgents fund their murderous activities. Baga, Borno’s largest fishing community in the shores of the Lake Chad with water ways to neighboring countries is considered strategic to Boko Haram’s operation.
Zulum’s spokesman, Malam Isa Gusau, in a statement issued Saturday, said two convoys, one belonging to the Governor and another for a committee on Baga reconstruction had safely plied the Maiduguri-Baga route previous days before the third convoy of security men was ambushed on Friday morning even after precautionary steps had been taken to ensure safe trips.
“Governor Babagana Umara Zulum is saddened by this unfortunate carnage. He shares the grief of families of these 11 priceless heroes to whom Borno shall remain grateful. The governor prays for the repose of their souls and urges all stakeholders to remain committed to ongoing peace building efforts. Zulum is of the opinion that we must continue to keep hope alive even in the face of tribulations, and believe that with sustained efforts and prayers, Borno will eventually regain peace. The situation facing us is a tough one but we must choose between doing something which gives us some hope and doing nothing which will leave us more vulnerable to Boko Haram’s ultimate wish to takeover Borno and bring it under their sovereign brutal administration” the statement said.
Zulum attends Baga’s first juma’at prayers in nearly two years
Meanwhile, Governor Zulum while in Baga attended juma’at prayers held for the first time in nearly two years.
Baga town was displaced by the Boko Haram insurgents 21 months ago, with most of the residents taking refuge in Monguno and Maiduguri.
In the Governor’s convoy were the Senator representing Northern Borno, Abubakar Kyari, house of reps members representing Marte, Monguno, Nganzai, Mohammed Tahir Monguno and that of Mobbar, Kukawa, Guzamala, Abadam federal constituencies, Bukar Gana Kareto. Speaker of Borno State House of Assembly, Abdulkarim Lawan, Chairman of Baga resettlement committee and the Commissioner for Justice, Barr. Kaka Shehu Lawan were on the trip and some top government officials.
While taking tour of the construction work going on in Baga, Governor Zulum commended the resettlement committee for the quality and speed of work.
Zulum had on August 31, 2020 inaugurated a resstlmeent committee, which was mandated to commence immediate reconstruction and rehabilitation work in Baga.
Governor Zulum of Borno State donates a house, N20m to late Col. D. C. Bako’s widow, orphans
Borno Governor, Prof. Babagana Umara Zulum on Tuesday announced a donation of a befitting house and 20 million Naira to the widow and orphans left behind by late Col. Dahiru Chiroma Bako who died from wounds sustained while battling boko haram. Insurgents ambushed the Commander’s troop on Sunday morning.
Col. Bako, described by Zulum as a fallen warrior, was Commander of 25 Task Force Brigade of Operation Lafiya Dole in charge of Damboa and surrounding axis in southern Borno. He died at a military hospital in Maiduguri on Monday.
Zulum, at the burial of the late Commander in Maiduguri on Tuesday, paid glowing tribute and announced house and cash donation to family of the deceased.
“Indeed it is a very sad moment, this is not a loss to the family of Late Col. Dahiru Chiroma Bako alone, not to the Nigerian Military, it is a loss to Borno and indeed Nigeria.”
“Col. Bako was a gallant and dodged military officer, under whose watch Damboa was never defeated. He humble and committed in discharging his duties, he is part of the success recorded in degrading boko haram insurgency in Borno State.”
“He has been one of the greatest in trying to stabilize not only Borno but even the neighbouring Yobe State. We will remember his contributions forever, may almighty Allah reward him, and forgive him.”
“To his family may they bear this irreparable lost. To all the soldiers and officers of the Nigerian Military that lost their lives, may Almighty Allah reward and forgive them. The injured ones we pray for their quck recovery.”
“I am reliably informed that Col. Bako did not have a house of his own. We cannot ignore the family he left behind. We share their grief and nothing can equal his life. Nevertheless, I am pleased to announce that Borno State Government will build a befitting house for the family of late Col. Bako. I was also told that the Nigerian Army under the distinguished leadership of Lt. General Tukur Yusuf Buratai has offered a scholarship to his children, we will also support the family to compliment the efforts of the military.”
“For the welfare of his family, Borno State Government will relase the sum of 20 million as support for them. A cheque to the effect will be ready later today or tomorrow morning” Zulum said.
The Governor had on Sunday night expressed sadness on the news of Bako’s demise.
Zulum described the Commander as one who inspired his troops and led them in the frontline with exceptional courage which was clearly our of pure patriotism.
He had also said the death of Bako and heroes like him shall not be in vain.
Gov. Prof. Babagana Umara Zulum sites mega school, hospital rehab in army chief’s town.
Governor, Babagana Umara Zulum, hosted by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, on Thursday commissioned an institute of war and peace, located at Buratai town in Biu local government area of southern Borno.
The institute, which is named after the Army Chief, is an off campus section of the Nigerian Army University which has campus in Biu town.
The institute was previously the Army’s national museum, established in 2016. The institute has six centers that include: Center for research and documentation, center for counter terrorism and counter insurgency, center for strategic communication, cyber security center, Museum and Archives centers.
Speaking at the venue of the commissioning, Governor Zulum expressed appreciation to officers, and men of the Nigerian military for their counter insurgency operations in the northeast.
“I am not unaware of where we were before the inception of the Buratai’s leadership and the successes recorded by the military in the war against terror. We appreciate the sacrifices of lives and deaths of our gallant officers, we shall continue to support our armed forces. When we occasionally criticize we do so with a view to improving on our successes and not out of lack of appreciation.” Zulum said.
The Governor explained that Buratai institute of war and peace will promote research on contemporary issues such as terrorism, insurgency and all forms of conflicts with a view to attaining peace. He pledge his administration’s readiness to partner with the institution.
“This is a very welcome development, I can assure you of the absolute support of the Government and people of Borno State for such noble venture. We appreciate the foresight of the Nigerian Army University, Biu and indeed the Nigerian Army under the leadership of Lt. General Tukur Yusuf Buratai for this initiative. Government of Borno State shall work with Tukur Buratai institute to design a templet of programs for peace building, reconstruction and development of our communities. Count on our support.” Zulum said.
He added, “You are all aware of the depleting effect of Boko Haram insurgency in Borno, neighboring States, and indeed adjoining countries of Niger, Chad and Cameroon. Our dear state, Borno is the worst affected with many of our citizens lives in the IDPs camp. With the level of destruction of infrastructure and displacement of people from their communities we have the onerous task of rehabilitating the people, so that, they will return to start their means of livelihood. That’s why the Borno State Government is importing a lot of its resources to empower the people and encourage them to return to their communities. The Nigerian Army has been a reliable partner in this endeavor.”
Meanwhile, Governor Zulum has directed the construction of a new mega school in Buratai town, also ordered by the Governor was the rehabilitation of Primary Health Center, Buratai.
Earlier, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Yusuf Buratai commended Governor Babagana Umara Zulum, other leaders of the northeast and entire Nigerians for their support to the military.
“I want to thank Nigerians particularly, the leaders, and people of the northeast for their dogged support to the Nigerian Army, without your support and understanding the successes achieved so far would not have been possible, please continue to support the security agencies with timely intelligence as a war on terror is a collective responsibility of all. I will also like to thank the Governor of Borno State, Prof. Babagana Umara Zulum, the emir of Biu His Royal Highness, Alh. Mai Umar Mustapha Aliyu for their support to Nigerian Army.” Buratai said.
The Commandant Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), Major General Jamil Sarham, has challenged officers of the Nigerian Armed Forces serving in the Academy to always render selfless service while discharging their duties to the nation.
He stated this at the NDA Officers Mess during the decoration ceremony for 12 officers of the Academy who were recently promoted to the rank of Major and its equivalent in the Nigerian Armed Forces.
Gen Sarham lamented on unguarded utterances associated with some military personnel. He encouraged the newly promoted officers to resist the urge to engage in such acts. Instead, he noted, they should double their efforts at carrying out their duties professionally, especially at this time that the nation and the world at large is faced with a series of security challenges.
To succeed in their careers, the Commandant urged the newly promoted officers to remain steadfast as they are likely to face tougher challenges ahead. He also charged them to always remain loyal to the military.
The event was attended by Directors, officers serving in the Academy and family members of the newly promoted officers.
Operation Sahel Sanity Records Another Gain In Katsina State In Its Fight Against Killer Bandits.
Brigadier General Benard Onyeuko, the Acting Director, Defence Media Operations, Defence Headquarters Abuja, disclosed yesterday that:
“In line with their noble mission to rid the North-West zone of armed bandits, cattle rustlers, Kidnappers and other sundry criminals, on 18 July 2020 gallant troops of Combat Team 1, Operation SAHEL SANITY with the support of Air Task Force advanced and captured one of the notorious armed bandits strongholds located deep in the forest in Jibia LGA of Katsina State known as Dangote Camp. Initial resistance by the bandits was effectively subdued by the superior tactics and dexterity of the troops which resulted in inflicting heavy casualty on the bandits. At the end of the encounter, 17 bandits were neutralized while several others were believed to have escaped with gunshot wounds as evident by the trails of blood along their escape routes. Equally, 5 AK 47 Rifles, 3 Dane guns, 2 AK 47 Rifle magazines, 152 rounds of 7.62mm Special ammunition and 7 motorcycles were captured from the fleeing bandits.
Regrettably, one brave officer and 2 gallant soldiers paid the supreme price while 4 other soldiers were wounded in action. However, the wounded in action soldiers are currently responding positively to treatment in a military medical facility.
In the same vain, on 18 July 2020, troops conducting fighting patrol along Faskari – Sheme – Dandume Road in Katsina State, arrested 5 suspected bandits including one female. One of the suspects, Bashir Usman who claimed to be a policeman during interrogation could not validate his claim with any form of identification was apprehended with one AK 47 Rifle loaded with 28 rounds of ammunition while riding on a motorcycle. Other items recovered from him include one handset and the sum of Six Thousand Three Hundred and Fifty Naira (N6,050. 00) only. Suspects are presently undergoing preliminary interrogation.”
The Brigadier General further states that:
“Furthermore, on 17 July 2020, troops following a tip off that bandits invaded Kuka Uku Village in Batsari LGA, Katsina State and kidnapped a 16 year old Miss Hadiza Sani, promptly mobilized to the area and made contact with the bandits who abandoned the victim and fled due to the troops aggressive pursuit. The rescued victim has since been reunited with her family. Similarly, on 17 July 2020, troops deployed at Forward Operation Base Bagega rescued another kidnapped victim, a 10 year old girl, following an alarm by her mother that two bandits on motorcycle kidnapped the victim while they were fetching firewood around Bagega – Tudurki Forest. The rescued has been united with her family.”
“Consequently, the Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai commended the troops for their gallantry, successes and their resilience. He urges them not to rest on their oars but build on the successes so far achieved. He further assured the people of the North-West zone of the Nigerian Army’s commitment to the safety of lives and properties within the zone.” He concluded.
The shortlisted applicants invited for Nigerian Defence Academy 72nd regular combatant course screening test.
The Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) Screening Test for 72 Regular Course was earlier scheduled to hold on 30 May 2020 as indicated on the application portal.
However, due to the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent measures put in place by the Federal Government to prevent further spread through interstate lockdown and restrictions on travels, the Screening Test was postponed.
Now the selection of screening centres would end by mid-night, 7th July, 2020.
Applicants must select their centres and printout all forms before then.
Click here for the full document of the List of Successful Candidates for the Screening Test for NDA 72nd Regular Course:
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Breaking: Nigeria Army Dismissed Major General Hakeem O. Otiki For Corruption
The General Court Martial of the Nigerian Army has found Major Gen Hakeem Oladapo Otiki, who is due to retire this year, guilty on five counts and ordered his demotion and dismissal from the military with disgrace and dishonour.
General Otiki was General Officer Commanding (GOC), 8 Division of the Nigerian Army, Sokoto in July 2019 when he sent five soldiers in his detail to haul some cash from Sokoto to Abuja via Kaduna before the money allegedly got missing.
The Court headed by the Chief of Policy and Plans, Nigeria Army, Lt. Gen Lamidi Adeosun found the Hakeem Otiki Guilty of disobedience to service orders, theft of public property, diverting operational money and engaging in private businesses.
The tribunal therefore, pronounced the following punishments: dismissal from service with disgrace and dishonour, reduction in rank from Major General to Brig General, and severe reprimand.
The Court also ordered that all monies totalling N135.8 Million, $6,600 recovered by the Special Investigation Bureau be returned to the coffers of the Nigerian Army. It ordered that another N150 Million stolen money which could not be accounted for, should also be returned to the coffers of the Nigerian Army.
All the sentences, however, are subject to approval by the Army Council.
In a final submission, the lead counsel to Major General Otiki, Barr. Israel Olorundare SAN pleaded for clemency and urged the Nigerian Army to temper justice with mercy.
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria told the court that the accused senior officer had returned the sum of N100 Million which was stolen by the soldiers detailed to escort the money to Kaduna and that some of the projects for which the sum of N150 Million was released to General Otiki were either completed or about to be completed.
Bar. Olorundare told the court that the accused officer is the bread winner of his family.
The lawyer said: “A career built for 45 years is coming to an end on a very sad note. After the court pronouncements and sentences, the Senior Advocate said the Defence will make a representation to the appropriate convening authority to note that General Otiki is not the one that robbed the money and he was the one who reported the incident.
“Aside from this, he still sourced for the Money and returned it to the authorities. So, there is really need to take another look at the judgment.”
That General Otiki whose wife has cancer, is also extremely sick and was brought to the premises of the Court Martial on a wheelchair. The officer had lost his mother in July, 2019 when the incident of alleged missing money started.
Major General Hakeem Oladapo Otiki was appointed General Officer Commanding 8 Division, Nigerian Army, Sokoto, the Division in March 2019 and Force Commander of Operation SHARAN DAJI and Operation Harbin Kunama III. Before the appointment, he was the Commander Infantry Corps (CIC) in Jaji.
Daily Watch Press gathered that the accused officer was a contemporary of the President of the Court Martial and Chief of Operation of the Nigerian Army. General Otiki got into Nigerian Defence Academy on 10th January 1983 while Lt. General Adeosun got in on 4th July 1983.
Other members of the General Court Martial include; Major General A. Tarfa, Major General F. O Agbugor, Major General F.A. Nadu, Major General N. Mohammed, Major General C. T. Olukotu, and Major General C. C. Okonkwo.
Major General John Enenche, the Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Defence Headquarters disclosed that, more Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists killed and others Surrendered as troops sustains onslaught against all Criminal Elements in the Country. Where is a press release he stated that:
“In continuation of the aggressive clearance operations across the North East, on 3 June 2020, troops of Army Super Camp 6 Konduga, Borno State in conjunction with Borno State Civilian Joint Task Force, conducted a deliberate ambush operation against BH/ISWAP Terrorists at Lawanti River line and neutralized 6 of them, while others escaped with gunshot wounds.
Furthermore, resulting from sustained artillery bombardments and ground assaults against BH/ISWAP Terrorists hideouts, more are surrendering to troops of Operation LAFIYA DOLE. On 2 June 2020, 3 of them namely: Mohammed Babagana, Modu Jugudun and Alhaji Usman surrendered to troops of Delta Company at Strong Response Area Pulka in Gwoza LGA of Borno State. The trio confessed to having escaped from their Boko Haram Camp in Dabulari Village, Bama LGA of Borno State after a heavy artillery bombardment of the Camp by troops that led to the death of many of their erstwhile colleagues. During interrogation, they confessed regretting their actions and called on their former colleagues to give up the struggle and save themselves from unprofitable death.”
General Enenche, continued that:
“Relatedly, on 2 June 2020, the combined troops of 19 Brigade and 401 Special Forces Brigade conducted a robust clearance operation at Doron Naira and Magaji. In Doran Naira, troops recovered one 120mm Mortar base plate, one religious book, metal links for-Aircraft ammunition and a roll of copper wire abandoned by the Boko Haram criminals before the arrival of the own troops. Also, at Daban Magaji, troops had an encounter with some Boko Haram Terrorists hibernating in the area. The valiant troops, through superior fire neutralized 9 of them. Additionally, the troops destroyed one Boko Haram Gun Truck as well as captured one Anti-Aircraft Gun, 2 AK 47 Rifles, and a large cache of Anti-Aircraft ammunition. However, one officer paid the supreme price while one soldier was wounded in action. The soldier wounded in action is currently receiving treatment in our military medical facility.
Similarly, on 1 June 2020, troops of 144 Battalion deployed in Madagali, Adamawa State briskly cleared BHT Staging Area and Crossing Points at Lemu, Gajinji and Tsakiraku. During the encounter at Gajinji, troops neutralized one terrorist and arrested 2 adult females namely: Aishatu Manye and Kelune Mate identified to be the local BHT commander’s wives.”
“In the North West Region, on 3 June 2020, troops of Operation WHIRL PUNCH acting on credible information raided a bandits’ Camp at Kurmin Dande in Chikun LGA of Kaduna State. During the operation, troops made contact and neutralized 2 of the bandits while others escaped with gunshot wounds. The troops recovered 2 Dane guns, 2 motorcycles, one locally fabricated short gun, 4 cutlasses, 3 cell phones, 2 small solar panels and some clothing items before destroying their camp.
Consequently, the Chief of Army Staff, congratulates the gallant troops for their resilience, courage and dedication to the noble cause of defending our fatherland. The High Command of the Armed Forces of Nigeria also encourages the troops to continue to be steadfast and focused as they sustain the onslaught against the enemies of our nation.” the General concluded.