President Muhammadu has been called upon to prove that his famed integrity is still intact by revisiting the case of 38 senior army officers that were dismissed from the military in 2016.
A group, Network of Police Reform In Nigeria (NOPRIN), made the call at a press conference held in Ikeja, Lagos State.
Their charge came against the backdrop of the June 9, 2016, compulsory retirement of 38 senior army officers by the Nigerian Army Council. The council had claimed that the men were compulsorily retired based on disciplinary grounds.
However, the NOPRIN national coordinator, Okechukwu Nwanguma along with legal practitioner and counsel of the dismissed soldiers, Abdul Mohammed, have cried foul over the dismissal of the 38 soldiers alleging that affected soldiers were not given fair hearing, disclosing that President Buhari had been petitioned to step into the dismissal of the soldiers.
Nwanguma, in his address, called on the President to show his commitment to justice by ensuring justice in the case of the 38 soldiers who according to him were wrongfully dismissed.
“The Senior Army Officers have written petitions to Mr. President, individually and collectively, seeking his intervention for justice but the President has, till date, yet to acknowledge any of their petitions, let alone take any step to ensure justice. This puts a huge question mark on Mr. President’s self-acclaimed integrity and commitment to justice.”
Also speaking Mohammed argued the pattern of abuse meted to the 38 soldiers without fair hearing by the military leadership indicates deliberate witch hunt of selected officers based on tribal affiliations and pedigree.
“Out of the 38 soldiers, 24 came from the southern part of the country, with Rivers State having seven of its senior officers all dismissed.”