The Nigerian Army has set up a nine-man committee, headed by Maj.-Gen. T.A. Gagariga, to probe alleged complaint of misconduct leveled against its personnel during the just concluded general elections.
According to a statement by the spokesman of the army on Friday, Col. Sagir Musa, other members of the committee are Brig.-Gen. J.M. Ali, Brig.-Gen. G.O. Adeshina, and Brig.-Gen. M.A. Obari.
Musa said that 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.
He 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.
Musa quoted the army chief to have admonished the nine-man committee to carry out its duties objectively, fairly and transparently.
He said the committee’s terms of reference are to thoroughly investigate the activities, actions and/or inactions of personnel in all states that alleged one infraction/wrong doing or the other.
It is also to collate and thoroughly analyse all reports to determine the veracity of the allegations, including the alleged assassination attempt on Rivers State Governor, Nysom Wike.
The other terms of reference, he said were circumstances that led to the shooting to death of Lt. Kurmi and serious injuries to an officer and some soldiers in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the incident occurred at Abonema in Akuku Toru Local Government Area of the state during the Presidential and National Assembly elections on Feb. 23.
The army spokesman said that the committee was further mandated to visit all states, where issues had been raised about the conduct of army personnel during and after the elections.
He added that it would interact with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), sister security agencies and state governors with claims against the army.
The head of the committee assured Buratai and Nigerians of members’ commitment, resolve and determination to objectively and professionally address the issues as contained in the terms of reference.
The committee is expected to submit its report on or before March 31.
The Nigerian Army deployed its troops under “Operation Safe Conduct’’ to support the police and other security agencies to ensure hitch-free and successful conduct of the general elections.
Buratai had charged personnel to “remain apolitical, respect human rights and abide by the rule of law in all engagements within or outside Nigeria and in or out of conflict situation.’’