Posted by News Express | 20 May 2014 | 3,350 times
There are indications in Borno State that some of the soldiers who allegedly participated in last week’s mutiny at the 7th Division of the Nigerian Army in the state may have deserted their barracks to avoid arrest and prosecution.
A report by Daily Newswatch said that the fleeing soldiers left their duty post secretly after the military high command announced it has set up a high-powered investigative panel of senior officers to unravel the causes of the incident.
The paper said its investigation revealed that some of the runaway soldiers have already re-united with their family members in Yola and were regarded to have gone on leave without lawful authority known in military parlance as AWOL.
It said it ran into some relatives of the affected soldiers in Yola, capital of Adamawa State, and they hinted that their soldier-relations had simply disappeared from Maiduguri and suddenly re-surfaced in Yola to avoid the backlash that is likely to follow the alleged mutiny when the committee arrives in Borno State for the investigation.
“The military in Maiduguri has said nothing over the alleged disappearance and the fate of the soldiers implicated in the disobedience which resulted in a protest shootout by angry soldiers last Tuesday against Major General Ahmadu A. Mohammed, the GOC of 7th Infantry Division, who has since been reassigned from the state,” the report said.
It disclosed that Director of Defence Information, Major General Chris Olukolade while reacting on the matter said every soldier knows that mutiny and desertion from the Army without permission are very serious offences in the military.
“He said the panel set up by the military high command to investigate the Borno State’s incident would do a thorough job of the assignment, stressing that soldiers found culpable should be prepared to face the music since there will be no hiding place for them,” the report said.
•Photo shows Defence Spokesman, Maj.-Gen. Olukolade.
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