Posted by News Express | 23 December 2020 | 4,423 times
For daring to complain that monies meant for him and his colleagues as soldiers in the Nigerian Army were embezzled, Capt. Amos Iyari Monye (rtd) was unjustly and unceremoniously sacked from the Nigerian Army.
Capt. Monye whose service number was NA/1239 was born in 1944 to the family of Late Pa Okoh Monye of Aligwe Quarters, Owa Alero, Ika North East Local Government Area of Delta State. He started primary school in 1952 and finished in 1958, and proceeded to CMS Modern School, Agbor in Delta State in 1959 where he completed the 3 years course in 1961. He was employed as a teacher in CMS primary school Alihiagu in 1962. In April 1963, he and some of his colleagues were laid-off because they were not grade 2 teachers.
During his sojourn in the Military, he served under three Senior Officers who later became Military Heads of State and Presidents of Nigeria. One of them is Nigeria’s incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari. Paradoxically, Monye at the moment lives in abject poverty without a house of his own, lost his wife and four of his children to hardships. However, he has two surviving children with several degrees but jobless. He eke out a living today as a beggar even as his eyesight is impaired.
It would be recalled that he joined the Nigeria Army on September 27, 1963 in Ibadan, and was deployed to the Nigeria Army Depot for recruitment training where he underwent a six-month recruitment course. He passed out in April 1964 and was posted to 2nd Battalion, Abeokuta. In August of the same year the battalion was relocated to Ikeja Cantonment, Lagos State.
According to him, when Gen. Yakubu Gowon wrote a letter stating that soldiers should be given two weeks break to go home and see their families and come back to the war front, they were reluctant fearing that he may desert duty.
He gave the now president Buhari his words that he would return at the end of the two weeks break and he fulfilled his promise. Buhari was later posted to Enugu 1 Division in Nigeria Army and Amos was taken to the regional headquarters at Abakiliki, where he took the first exam and he passed. He was then taken to Enugu for the second exam.
Upon the successful completion of the examination in Enugu, he was taken to Lagos for the final exam, which was organised by Olusegun Obasanjo and he also came out in flying colours. With this result, he was admitted into the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA) in 1968 to begin the Officers’ Course. He passed out in August 1969 and was commissioned as Second Lieutenant. Thereafter, he was posted to 3rd Marine Commando in Port-Harcourt where he met Olusegun Obasanjo as his General Officer Commanding (GOC). Then, Obasanjo was a Colonel. Second Lieutenant Amos was later posted to the 12th Brigade at Azumiri in present Abia State which was under the charge of Major Esemede. After few months at the 12th Brigade, Amos was made a Battalion Commander.
During the period of his captainship, he said, “There was an allegation of embezzlement of funds meant for the soldiers leveled against the Brigade Major of the Battalion, Captain Omoniyi, who was our superior through a written petition by some soldiers claiming that Captain Omoniyi embezzled the money given to him to share to the soldiers.
“A panel which comprised of Late Lieutenant Colonel Mamman Vatsa, Late Capt. Dada and Late Capt. Ojokojo was set up to investigate the allegation. After the investigation and for inexplicable reasons, Capt. Omoniyi was exonerated in the Report of the panel which claimed that no money was given to Capt. Omoniyi”.
As he narrated, three officers from the South-South who had nothing to do with the said embezzlement including Captain Amos, (Delta State) and his two other colleagues, late Major Mayi (Bayelsa State) and Second lieutenant Akpan (Cross River State) were dismissed from the Army unceremoniously in the year 1975.
According to him, they were sacked on the insinuation that they may have instigated the soldiers to petition their boss, Captain Omoniyi for embezzling the money meant to share to the soldiers. “The money in question was supposed to be shared to us who were officers under Captain Omoniyi and the soldiers. Surprisingly, Omoniyi who was accused to have embezzled the money was exonerated and we who were supposed to be given the money were dismissed. This was one of the greatest injustices I have received in my life from a country I risk my life for”, he lamented.
He explained every effort made to prove their innocence through confident conviction on the said allegation proved abortive as they were not listened to. ‘’Again, we had no godfather to back us up on our appeal. We had no other choice but return to our various homes without compensations or support of any kind’’. (Text, excluding headline, courtesy Daily Independent)
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