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Army sets up committee to probe conduct by personnel during polls

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Following reports from different quarters alleging gross misconduct of men of the Nigerian Army, a nine-man committee, headed by Maj.-Gen. T.A. Gagariga, has been set up to probe the complaints levelled against its personnel during the just concluded general elections.

This was revealed on Friday in a statement by the spokesman of the army, Col. Sagir Musa. The committee has a deadline of March 31, 2019 to submit its report.

Other members of the committee are Brig.-Gen. J.M. Ali, Brig.-Gen. G.O. Adeshina, and Brig.-Gen. M.A. Obari.

Also, Col. A.T. Bitiyong, Col. A. Tanko and Col. W.A. Bakare will also serve as members, while Lt.-Col. P.A.J. Ebuk would serve as the committee’s Secretary.

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Bala said the committee had been inaugurated by the Chief of Administration Maj.-Gen. K.A.Y. Isiyaku, on behalf of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Yusuf Buratai, and had begun work.

The statement read: “As a way of ensuring that NA troops deployed for election security duties during the 2019 general election conducted themselves within laid down Rules of Engagement and the Code of Conduct, the NA has set up a nine-member investigative committee, headed by Major General T.A. Gagariga with Brigadier General J.M. Ali, Brigadier General G.O. Adeshina, Brigadier General M.A. Obari, Colonel A.T. Bitiyong, Colonel A. Tanko and Colonel W.A. Bakare, as members and Lieutenant Colonel P.A.J. Ebuk as Secretary, to investigate all allegations of misconduct against the NA during the just concluded general elections.

“The committee, which has already commenced action, was inaugurated by the Chief of Administration (Army), Major General K.A.Y. Isiyaku on behalf of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai, and admonished to carry out their duties objectively, fairly and transparently in line with its Terms of Reference.

“The committee’s Terms of Reference centred on thoroughly investigating the activities, actions and/or inactions of NA Personnel in all the states that alleged one infraction/wrong doing or the other. The Committee is also to collate and thoroughly analyze all reports to determine the veracity of the allegations including the alleged assassination attempt on Rivers State Governor and the circumstances that led to the shooting to death of Lt. Kurmi, as well as that leading to serious injuries to an officer and some soldiers in the state.

“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 Organizations, sister security agencies and state governors with claims against the Army.

“The Chairman of the committee, Major General T.A. Gagariga has assured the COAS and all Nigerians of the committee’s commitment, resolve and determination to objectively and professionally address the major issues as contained in the Committee’s Terms of Reference.”

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