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Nigeria: Military Refutes Reports Suggesting Senior Officers Have Been Charged Over Ties To Boko Haram

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BEVERLY HILLS, CA, June 03, (THEWILL) - Nigeria's military command has refuted widely published reports that claimed that 15 senior officers of the Nigerian Army have been tried before a military court and found guilty on charges relating to aiding and supporting terrorists operating mainly in northern Nigeria.

Several news reports on the subject quoted The Leadership, one of Nigeria's national newspapers based in Abuja, as source of the story.

But Major General Chris Olukayode, the Director of Defence Information, in a statement on Tuesday faulted the report describing it as 'falsehood.'

'The Defence Headquarters wishes to state once again categorically that there is no truth whatsoever in the report making rounds in a section of the media claiming that a Nigerian Army court martial has tried and found 15 senior officers including 10 Generals guilty for aiding terrorists.

'The story as published in some dailies and zealously propagated by many online media is very unfortunate and meant to do maximum damage to the image of Nigerian Army and its personnel.

'This falsehood had previously been refuted when it first reared its head but those concocting it appear hell bent on misleading Nigerians and the international community to give credence to the negative impression they are so keen to propagate about the Nigerian military,' the military spokesman said.

The DHQ statement further said: 'It has become inevitable to reassure the general public that any ongoing disciplinary process or trial will be made public when necessary. After all, Court Martial issues in the Nigerian Army are not known to be secret undertakings as it is on record that previous proceedings and outcome have been made public in the past.

'Those who have decided to make a past time out of sensationalizing and fabricating sensitive security issues are again cautioned to desist from this practice especially in this period of the nation's history. It is bad enough for any Army to try and convict a single General for such a grievous offence as alleged in the reports talk less of ten Generals. Nigerian Army remains a serious professional and responsible institution that cannot be associated with such incredulous report.

'The general public is therefore implored to discountenance the report as the handiwork of those who do not mean well for the country and her Armed Forces.

'Disciplinary processes being undertaken in any formation of the Nigerian Army are at best routine and definitely not at the level that has been so willfully exaggerated for clearly sinister motives. For emphasis, there is NO General of the Nigerian Army under any form of trial.'

Meanwhile, the military said it has detained a key suspect in the terror bomb explosion that rocked the Kabang community in Mubi, Adamawa State on Sunday evening.

It said troops who cordoned off the blast site in a swift response to the explosion arrested the suspect

'The suspect was nabbed as observant members of the public confirmed sighting him alight from the vehicle used in conveying the explosive device that was detonated in Kabang shortly before the explosion. So far, 19 persons wounded in the explosion have been evacuated and are receiving medical attention in hospitals while 18 others have been confirmed dead,' the military statement signed by Major General Olukayode said.

The statement further revealed that patrol troops have successfully repelled an ambush in Buratai community in Biu, a town in Borno state.

'The troops who fell into the ambush laid by the terrorists while on patrol, engaged the terrorists in a decisive fire fight killing four of them and capturing one alive. Also in Kawuri in Borno state, troops in a patrol have killed five terrorists in a shootout. The troops also captured two AK 47 rifles and two vehicles used by the terrorists.'