Posted by News Express | 24 July 2019 | 657 times
The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has tasked the Nigerian Army’s high command to hand over the General officer commanding (GOC) 8 Division Sokoto, Major General Hakeem Otiki, to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to enable a thorough, independent and transparent investigation to be carried out on the alleged theft of N400 million by escorts delegated by the GOC.
HURIWA said as a human rights group “with tremendous respect for the many lofty ideals of anti-corruption strategies introduced by the current Army Chief”, it expects that the reported disappearance of such a humongous cash belonging to the country purportedly meant for the counter insurgency war, is handled independently in line with established precedence set by the current Chief of Army staff who had handed over several Generals to the EFCC in the past in connection with the alleged diversion of resources budgeted for the prosecution of the counter terrorism war.
HURIWA also charged the Army Chief to use his good offices to introduce stringent measures which will further tighten the ways cash transactions are done so it would be easier to prevent this kind of scandal that reportedly occurred in Sokoto which has brought enormous opprobrium on the global image of the country.
“It is certainly not enough to detain the said General in a military facility and certainly it is insufficient to rely only on internal mechanisms to unravel the circumstances surrounding the reported disappearance of such a huge amount of cash. The most logical thing to do is to also invite the EFCC and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) to provide forensic investigative skills to uncover the truth behind the extensively damaging scam and to enforce the relevant anti-economic crimes’ law where necessary even as the indicted persons must be afforded the opportunities for fair hearing in line with section 36(5) of the constitution.”
The rights group stated that from media sources, the officer who was redeployed to the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON), is currently being detained at the Officers Mess where he is being guarded by heavily armed soldiers and may be moved to Abuja anytime from now just as it stated that available information states that when finally in Abuja, he is expected to be grilled by personnel from the Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI), Special Intelligence Bureau (SIB), and Nigerian Army Corps of Military Police (NACMP).
Quoting media reports, HURIWA stated that it will be the standard practice to bring all persons implicated in this scandal to justice going by the report that the so-called VIP, allegedly being escorted by the soldiers who happens to be the younger brother of the former GOC, may have actually connived with the soldiers to steal the N400million as he is nowhere to be found.
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