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Embezzlement: Continued detention of military officers attracts condemnation

Ola  Ajayi
IBADAN-A Human Rights lawyer, Mr.   Peters Adonu has condemned alleged unlawful detention of two senior military officers over trumped up charges of embezzling money running into billions of naira.

He said the continued detention of General Felix Mohammed and one Col. Greg ran contrary to tenets of the Rule of Law and an outright violation of their rights by the Army authorities.

According to him, General Mohammed has been in detention since 1st July, 2009 over  fake charges that he mismanaged the said amount. More worrisome, he noted further, is the fact that the NDIC and the audit report carried out did not find the officers culpable but the officers are still left to languish in detention.

He said the board set up to investigate the allegation comprised General Lartey Joseph, General Rilisano and General Charles submitted favourable reports but the army was not pleased.

The general, he went further, had initially been compulsorily retired but was recalled by the army council on 19th October, 2009.

While calling on the Acting President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, the Senate President, the National Assembly and the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) to look into the case of the army officers to effect their immediate release, he said the army had acted beyond its power by the prolonged detention of the officers.

When the allegations of corruption were leveled against Gen. Mohammed who is the Managing Director of a financial institution, Homes & Loans and his purported removal without the consent of the CBN, he added that the army had acted outside its power.

According to him, the MD of the financial institution had been changed three times without informing the CBN officially.He added that up to now, General Mohammed is still the MD of the institution according to the list of the CBN.

He said the removal of the general as the MD of the institution was one when there as no formal complaints against him adding that since their detention in Abuja , the officers had been paying for their detention facility.


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