By Marie Nanlong
The mystery surrounding the disappearance of the former Chief of Administration, Army Headquarters, Abuja, Major General Idris Alkali, was yesterday unravelled as the Nigerian Army recovered his body from an abandoned well in Guchwet, Jos South Local Government Area of Plateau State.
Alkali was declared missing on his way to Bauchi after leaving Abuja in the morning of September 3, and Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, set up an operation to search for him.
Army said after a thorough investigation, they narrowed their search to a mining pond in Dura-Du in Jos South Local Government.
After two weeks of draining the pond, the car of the missing general and two other cars were recovered. Also, a Toyota bus was fished out of the pond.
On Friday, General Officer Commanding, 3 Division, Rukuba Barracks, B. A. Akinruluyo, had said soldiers located a grave where Alkali was initially buried.
Akinruluyo said some of the suspects arrested in connection with the incident confessed that the body was buried in a place known as No Man’s Land in Dura-Du community in Plateau.
He said those behind the act later exhumed the corpse.
Garrison Commander of 3rd Armoured Division of the Nigerian Army and Head of Search and Rescue Operations, Brigadier General Umar Mohammad, yesterday, disclosed that one of the suspects, who reported himself last week to the Police, led the Army to the abandoned well.
The well was drained of water yesterday morning and the remains of the retired senior military officer pulled out and covered in a green and white body bag, when journalists visited the scene.
The Garrison Commander said the operation was conducted by the Nigerian Army in collaboration with the Police and Fire Service.
Although no medical test was carried out to confirm if the body parts found were actually those of General Alkali, the Army insisted their findings confirmed the body parts packed in a body bag were those of the retired officer.
The retired general was given a military parade by Brigadier Generals who carried his remains into a waiting ambulance and the Garrison Commander added that military parade will take place at the site of the well after all the body parts have been removed.
Umar said with the recovery of the body, they were left with one task— to ensure that those declared wanted in connection with the crime are brought to book.
His words: “The COAS gave us three terms of reference: get the missing senior officer dead or alive, to recover his car and ensure that those who committed the crime are punished.
“We have today fulfilled the second condition, we will not rest until we meet the third. We want to assure those that are on the run that we are on their trail and we must get them,” he vowed.