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Stolen N400m: General docked

Stolen N400m: General docked

After several months of denials, the Nigerian Army on Tuesday began the trial of the former General Officer Commanding, 8 Division, Sokoto State, Maj Gen Hakeem Otiki, over the alleged diversion of the sum of N400 million by some soldiers in the division.

General Otiki, is facing general court martial in Abuja for alleged theft of the money by some soldiers in his division.

The Army, had on several locations denied the theft of the money by escort soldiers in his Division.

However, on July 21 this year, the Army begun the quizzing former GOC and the missing N400m  by the Directorate of the Military Intelligence, the  Special Intelligence Bureau and the Nigerian Army Corps of Military Police.

Five soldiers had been confirmed to have carted away a consignment containing the money, while on an escort duty from Sokoto to Kaduna states in the first week of July 2019.

The money was allegedly to be delivered to a Very-Important Personality in Kaduna.

The army’s spokesman in 8 Division, Lieutenant Audu Arigu, had confirmed the incident, adding that investigation had commenced into the incident.

He identified the runaway soldiers as Corporal Gabriel Oluwaniyi, Corporal Mohammed Aminu, one Corporal Haruna, Oluji Joshua and Hayatudeen.

Army sources said the runaway soldiers perfected their escape by turning in their rifles and their mobile phones at the Infantry Corps in Jaji, Kaduna State, on the day of theft before they escaped.

The acting Director, Army Public Relations, Col Sagir Musa, had confirmed this to our correspondent through a chat, when asked the whereabouts of the major general.

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The Defence Headquarters, Abuja, had on July 23 assured during a press conference that the outcome of the ongoing investigations on the former GOC would be made public.

On Tuesday, the military formally began the trial of Otiki, as sources said he was summoned from the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria,  Badagry  Lagos State where he is undergoing a course  for the trial process.

There was, however, drama at the general court-martial as the lawyer to the defendant, Otiki, said he was not comfortable to have Lt Gen Lamidi Adeosun head the court, as he was an interested party in the case.

The lawyer, Okechukwu Adinu, asked that Adeosun recused himself from the trial.

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