Army 38: Army ‘Shuns’ Malami’s Letters, Irabor Writes Magashi on Unjustly Retired Officers
The leadership of the Nigerian Army is yet to take any action on the 38 army officers ‘wrongfully’ retired after a series of letters by the Minister of Justice and the Attorney General of the Federal, Mr. Abubakar Malami.
PRNigeria gathered that the Chief of Defence Staff has officially responded to the plight of the affected officers in a letter to the Defence Minister, General Bashir Salihi Magashi (Rtd)
Among those sacked ‘arbitrarily by the Nigerian military authorities in 2016 are nine Major Generals, 10 Brigadier Generals, together with some Colonels and a major.
PRNigeria also learnt that the immediate-past Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, was on the verge of acting on the matter before he died with other senior army officers in a plane crash, in May 2021.
The military authority had ignored the plight of the ‘victimized’ officers,’ Judiciary verdicts and the intervention of the National Assembly (NASS), to have them reinstated as ordered by different courts.
Attempts by the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN, to resolve the impasse between the Army Generals and their military authorities were also futile.
Recent checks by PRNigeria indicates that Malami, through the Solicitor General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice, on February 15, 2021, rewrote another letter seeking an explanation on the matter from the then Chief of Defence Staff, CDS, Gen. Olonisakin.
In the letter, which was sighted by PRNigeria, Malami reminded the CDS that he was yet to receive any response for the initial letter he had sent, in order for him to advise Mr. President appropriately.
On why the military authority is yet to act on the retired army officers’ case even after the PRNigeria’s reports on the incident, a military officer, who asked not to be named, said Malami’s intervention letter was not directed to the serving CDS, as General Lucky Irabor was yet to be appointed by Mr. President then.
He however disclosed that, General Irabor had responded to a similar enquiry to the Defence Minister, General Bashir Salihi Magashi (Rtd).
In a letter to the defence minister with Reference no CDS/8/A, also sighted by PRNigeria, General Irabor confirmed the disobedience to court order on the reinstatement, the intervention of Justice Minister and other appeals to President Muhammadu on the plight of the officers.
The Irabor’s letter read further, thus: “Meanwhile, to resolve and ensure compliance of the judgement, Hon Minister of Justice also intervened by imploring the Nigerian Army through the CDS to comply with the subsisting court judgement.
“It would be noted however that the issue remains unresolved hence this current appeal to revisit the 2016 compulsory retirement of the 38 Senior Army Officers.
“Therefore, the appeal is being made on the need to motivate both serving and retired personnel, sustain morale and sharpen the psyche of the future generation of officers.
“The appeal, therefore, if upheld will ensure the primacy of military organizational values are kept permanently high without dampening morale or breeding mistrust.
“It is apt to state that reservists and retired military personnel are a vital workforce for advancing national interests, as such, must be carefully managed to check inordinate activities by highly skilled but disgruntled personnel.
“It is in view of the foregoing, and to say t lay the matter to rest, the this appeal is recommending that the 38 NA Senior Officers be voluntarily retired with effect from January 1, 2018”
PRNigeria reports that the list of the unjustly retired officers include Maj Gen MY Ibrahim, Maj Gen SD Aliyu, Maj Gen FO Alli, Maj Gen IN Ijioma, Maj Gen Ejemai, Maj Gen LC Ilo, Maj Gen Ude, Maj Gen EJ Atewe and Maj Gen LI Wiwa.
The Brigadier General are Brig Gen LM Bello, Brig Gen ASH Saad, Brig Gen Mormoni-Bashir, Brig Gen DM Onoyvieta, Brig Gen B Fibuonuma, Brig Gen Koko-Essien, Brig Gen IM Lawson, Brig Gen AI Onibasa, Brig Gen D Abdulsalam and Brig Gen Aghachi.
The Colonels are: Col DR Hassan, Col MA Suleiman, Col FD Kayode, Col TT Minimah, Col FE Ekpenyong, Col OU Nwankwo and Col CK Ukoha.
The Liutenant Colonel are: Lt Col TO Oladuntoye, Lt Col CO Amadi, Lt Col OA Baba-Ochankpa, Lt Col E Egemole, Lt Col KO Adimoha, Lt Col DB Dazang, Lt Col T Arigbe, Lt Col Enemchukwu, Lt Col GC Nyekwu, Lt Col A Mohammed, Lt Col AS Mohammed and Major TA Williams