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Reps to probe alleged theft of army operational funds by five soldiers

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House of Reps

The House of Representatives has resolved to set up an ad hoc committee to investigate the alleged carting away of billions of Naira by five Nigerian soldiers of Operation Harbin Kunama Ill.

Defence Headquarters had earlier disclosed that five soldiers had disappeared with the Nigerian Army operational funds.

The soldiers were subsequently declared wanted for diverting funds meant for military operations, and an order for their arrest was issued to military formations nationwide.

Following the unanimous adoption of a motion of “Urgent Motion of Public Importance’’ by Rep. Abubakar Balarabe (APC-Nasarawa) at the plenary on Wednesday, the House set up the committee which is to report back within four weeks for further legislative action

The lawmaker, while moving the motion, cited the Nigerian Army in a press release signed by col. Sagir Musa, the acting Director of Army Public Relations, on the 15 July 2019 titled, ”RE: Nigerian Soldiers on escort duty abscond with billions of naira”.

He said: “We are aware that the press release stated that five personnel of “operation Harbin Kunama Ill” based in Sokoto were detailed on the 11 July 2019 at about 1500 hours(3 pm) to escort a VIP with a large amount of cash to kaduna, a distance of about 400 kilometers

“Worried that on arrival at the Nigeria“ Army Airstrip in Jaji the five personnel connived and allegedly disposed the VIP of the cash and absconded.”

READ ALSO: STOLEN N600M FOR ARMY OPERATIONS: Investigation ongoing – Defence Hqtrs

“Also worried that the statement though admitting to the incidence, refuted the exact amount carted away by the soldiers and also claimed ignorance of the exact amount, exonerating the 8 Division of the Nigeria Army and its GOC Major General H. O. Otiki”

He expressed concern that the statement said the incident was uncommon, embarrassing, obnoxious and painful. Only the VIP knows the total amount involved and can disclose it.

He further said: “Cognizant that the Nigeria Army constituted a High Powered Committee to holistically, thoroughly and decisively investigate the sad incident for record and posterity.

“And reported to all Nigeria Army formations and units and the general public for awareness and possible arrest of the culprits;

“Notes that the five personnel all attached from the Infantry Corps Centre Jaji Are; CPL Gabriel Oluwaniyi, CPL Mohammed Aminu, LCPL Commander Haruna, LCPL Oluji Joshua and LCPL Hayatudeen; ‘

“Also notes that the circumstances surrounding the incident are unclear, like why a large amount of cash will be transported by road and not using the banks, why would cash be moved from Sokoto to Abuja via Kaduna and not vice-versa.

“What is the source of the money, what is its purpose, who is this undisclosed very important personality (VIP) and Who owns the money?

He expressed worry that “in these times of insecurity, banditry, kidnapping, insurgency and other crimes in the country it would be dangerous to leave this very grave incident unattended to and imminent to unravel the circumstances surrounding it”

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