Molly Kilete, Abuja
A General Officer Commanding (GOC) of one of the divisions of the Nigerian Army has been placed under house arrest; over alleged N400 million theft perpetrated by some soldiers who were escorting the money.
The officer, who was once at the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON), is currently being detained at an Officers’ Mess, where armed soldiers are guarding him.
It was gathered that he may be moved to Abuja soon.
Military sources revealed to Daily Sun that when the officer is moved to Abuja, he would be questioned by personnel of the Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI), Special Intelligence Bureau (SIB) and Nigerian Army Corps of Military Police (NACMP) on what he knows about the stolen money.
It was gathered that a younger brother of the GOC was involved in the theft of the money.
He allegedly connived with the soldiers to steal the money.
The source further revealed: “Investigations have also shown that there was connivance with the younger brother of the officer, who was acclaimed to be the VIP the soldiers were escorting because he has also disappeared into thin air and he, just as the fleeing soldiers, also left his mobile phone in the car which has made it difficult for investigators to track him.”
Other sources in the military said people close to the arrested GOC are also being being monitored by the DMI, SIB and NACMP.
Daily Sun also gathered that no soldier has been arrested in connection with the crime as none of the soldiers among the escorts has been seen.
On the source of the stolen money, there are two versions.
One version said it was proceeds of illegal mining. The other version was that the money was meant to pay troops’ allowances.
A source, who would not want to be mentioned, said the money does not belong to the Nigerian army.
According to him, “the army cannot and will not give any commander that kind of money because they are not the ones that buy weapons.
“That kind of money can only be given to you if they want to buy weapons but we all know that buying of weapons and ammunition is not the responsibility of General Officer Commanding, Commanding Officers or commanders.”
All efforts by Daily Sun, through phone calls and SMS, to get response of army spokesman, Colonel Musa Sagir, all through yesterday proved abortive.
He did not respond to all the inquiries.