Army Probes Alleged Assassination Attempt On Wike, Misconduct By Personnel

Army Probes Alleged Assassination Attempt On Wike, Misconduct By Personnel
A file photo of Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General, Tukur Buratai, at a press briefing in Abuja in February 2019.

The Nigerian Army has set up a committee to investigate the reported assassination attempt on Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, as well as allegations of misconduct against its personnel during the general elections.

Acting Director of Army Public Relations, Sagir Musa, disclosed this in a statement on Friday.

He explained that the committee was constituted as part of the measure to ensure that troops deployed for election security duties conducted themselves within laid-down Rules of Engagement and the Code of Conduct.

The Chief of Administration (Army), Major General Kay Isiyaku, inaugurated the committee on behalf of the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, and has already commenced investigation.

Major General Isiyaku asked the committee chairman, Major General T.A. Gagariga, and other members to carry out their duties objectively, fairly and transparently, in line with its Terms of Reference.

On his part, Major General Gagariga promised that his committee would be objective and professional in addressing the major issues raised.

Among the Terms of Reference is a thorough investigation of the activities, actions and inactions of army personnel in all the states where there were alleged infractions.

The committee was also directed to collate and thoroughly analyse all reports to determine the veracity of the allegations, including the alleged assassination attempt on Governor Wike and the circumstances that led to the shooting to death of Lt. Luka Kurmi, as well as that leading to serious injuries to an officer and some soldiers in the state.

The army spokesperson added, “The committee is further mandated to visit all states where issues have been raised about the conduct of NA during and after the elections and also interact with Civil Society Organisations, sister security agencies and state governors with claims against the Army,” the statement said.

“It would be recalled that the COAS, Lt. Gen. T.Y. Buratai has on many fora, consistently (both in words and actions), soundly indicated that, under his watch, NA personnel must remain apolitical, respect human rights and abide by the rule of law in all its official engagements within or outside Nigeria and in or out of conflict situation.”

Army troops were deployed for the elections under Operation Safe Conduct that was set up to provide support to the Nigerian Police and other security agencies to ensure hitch-free and successful elections in the country.

The committee has Lieutenant Colonel Paj Ebuk as its secretary and is expected to submit its report not later than March 31, 2019.

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