Posted by Ruby Leo | 9 April 2018 | 1,911 times
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai, on Monday set up a panel to investigate allegations made against the Nigerian Army during military operations and the exercise Ayem Akpatuma in Taraba State.
The Chief of Army Staff who inaugurated the 10-man committee at the Army headquarters headed by Major General Joseph Nimyel (rtd.) urged them to expedite actions towards unravelling the true situation of things since it was a burning national issue.
The committee is expected to submit its report within ten days from today after it was inaugurated.
It would be recalled that on March 24, 2018, a former COAS, Lt Gen Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma (rtd), while speaking during the convocation ceremony of the Taraba State University, alleged that the Armed Forces of Nigeria (AFN) colluded with armed bandits and other criminal elements.
Meanwhile in a document, the panels in their terms of reference have been mandated to ascertain the veracity of Danjuma’s statement that the troops were not neutral, but collude with, cover and facilitate the movement of armed bandits and other criminal”.
It also include to:
“Ascertain the availability and understanding among troops operating in the identified states about the rules of engagement and appropriate conduct during the operations
“ascertain the timeline of clashes/security breaches that occurred in Taraba State from year 2015 till date.
“document military responses to the identified clashes from year 2015 during operation Mesa, EX Ayem Akpatuma and other operations and exercises in Taraba,
“ascertain if documentary operational records/dairies on each operational/exercise were kept, including the availability of After Action Review to tactical and operational levels specifically at the Battalion, Brigade, sector and Division.
“ascertain the role and actions taken on the part of commanders involved in the exercise, interview, document and verify claims made by local groups, NGOs and other Nigerian citizens”
On the issues raised by Danjuma, Buratai said, “statements of this nature could damage the reputation of the Armed Forces of Nigeria and thus cannot be ignored if the NA is to continue to earn the trust and respect of the Nigerian populace.
He added that it has become imperative for the NA to set up this Panel to confirm the veracity or otherwise of these allegations
Lieutenant General Buratai said that the actions of the Nigerian Army has come under heavy criticism from state governors, Non-Governmental Organisation (NGOs), individuals, interest groups from different sectors of the society and most recently from a Former Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma about their operations in Taraba state.
Speaking to the panel Buratai said that the terms of reference given them which is robust and articulated would enable them focus on the crux of the matter.
He added: “you are enjoined to visit all flash points and interact with various stakeholders and interest groups in Taraba State in order to come up with a comprehensive report.”
The committee is made up of Major General Joseph Nimyel (rtd) as its president, Brigadier General Saka Abubakar (rtd) members, Brigadier General Sani Mohammed, Brigadier General Kayode Olajide, Brigadier General Alexander Ridley, Brigadier General Stanley Eze.
Others include Abdul Atadoga Ibrahim from the Nigerian Bar Association, Mrs Comfort Davut from the Civil Society Organisation, Barrister Abdulrahman Yakubu from the National Human Right Commission and Col Gambo Mohammed. (Daily Trust)
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