By Kingsley Omonobi
The Nigerian Army yesterday retired compulsorily from service four officers including a Lt-Colonel and two Majors (names withheld).
They were said to be culpable of severe mistakes that resulted in the Akure protests by soldiers who had returned from foreign peacekeeping operations early this year, resulting in the trial and sentencing of 27 soldiers.
According to a statement by the Director of Army Public Relations, Brig-General Chris Olukolade, â€œit is important to make it categorically clear that contrary to speculations in some quarters, none of the officers in question was charged for stealing, as investigations into the subject did not in anyway suggest that anyone of them stole or attempted to steal the money meant for payment of the troopsâ€™ allowances.
â€œWhat had become very clear from investigations was the fact that the officers had committed genuine mistakes in the course of the execution of their assigned tasks.
“But it must be noted that the military system offers no room for mistakes as such could spell very serious implications both for the state and the military itself.
â€œIt is for this reason that the negligence or relegation of duties on the part of its officers could not be overlooked at any point in time.
“Consequently, the officers in question were charged for negligence, and various sentences, ranging from outright reduction in rank to loss of seniority, were meted out to them.
“The sentences were equally subject to confirmation in line with the appropriate statutory provisions.
â€œOn this note, we wish to inform you that these sentences were commuted and confirmed by the Army Council at its sitting yesterday. Accordingly, the outright reductions and long period of loss of seniority have been commuted to reduced periods of such loss of seniority,â€ he added.