ARMY JUSTIFIES DETENTION OF TWO OFFICERS
The Nigerian Army has justified the continuing detention of two of its top personnel, Brig. Gen. F.A. Mohammed and Col. G.E. Udegbe, for alleged fraud.
Assistant Director in the Directorate of Army Information, Col. Usman Abdul, said in an electronic mail he signed on behalf of the Director, Brig. Gen. Chris Olukolade, that the two officers were being detained for 'allegations of fraud, conspiracy, lack of accountability, transparency, and due process…'
While Mohammed was Nigeria Army's Managing Director of Post Service Homes and Loans Limited, his counterpart, Udegbe, held sway as his Project Manager before their present predicament.
Usman faulted an alleged on-line publication reproduced in a national newspaper (not Saturday Punch) by a lawyer, Mr. Peter Adonu, which said that the decision of the Nigerian Army to detain the suspected officers at the Mogadishu Barracks in Abuja was contrary to the provisions of the law.
He said the publication, which he described as baseless was contrived to mislead the public as the military had power to keep suspects in safe custody under its law.
He debunked the alleged claim by the lawyer that the high profile suspects were detained because of the findings by a Board of Inquiry set up on the issue.
Abdul said the indictment and detention of the suspects were 'based on the compelling report of the investigations carried out by well-trained and competent members of the Military Police.'
He challenged the lawyer to await the outcome of the trial of the two officers by a competent court martial before reaching a decision on the issue, stressing that the lawyer could even appeal against the verdict of the trial court.
'Let it be known to the likes of Peter Adonu that the NA is committed to the observance and promotion of the rules of law, fundamental human rights, fair-hearing and accountability and therefore cannot succumb to blackmail and propaganda,' the statement said.