•Repoet not ready weeks after deadline
The Chief of the Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai, has said that the army panel set up to probe the allegations against soldiers in the 2019 general elections was still investigating, three weeks after the March 31 deadline given to the committee.
The army chief stated this in Jaji, Kaduna State, in his address at the Combined First Quarter Conference and Combat Arms Training week.
Buratai had on March 15 set up the nine-man committee to investigate, within two weeks, allegations of misconduct and interference against soldiers deployed nationwide on security duties during the 2019 general elections.
The panel, headed by Maj Gen T.A Gagariga, had been given until March 31 to submit its findings.
“As a way of ensuring that troops deployed during the 2019 general elections conducted themselves within the Rules of Engagement and the Code of Conduct, the army has set up a nine-member investigative committee to investigate all allegations of misconduct against the army. The committee is to submit its report not later than March 31,” the Director of Army Public Relations, Col Sagir Musa, had said.
However, close to four weeks after the deadline, the army chief said on Wednesday that the panel was still investigating the incidents.
Buratai said, “The army within the first quarter of 2019 turned the battle momentum against the Boko Haram terrorists in the North-East and ensured the successful conduct of the 2019 General Elections. The conduct of Exercise Egwu Eke 3 and Operation Safe Conduct strengthened the country’s democracy.
“Despite reports of some alleged cases of infractions by some personnel, which are being investigated by a high level committee, I am elated with the high level of professionalism exhibited in the conduct of the elections.”
“There is no doubt that we are engaged in asymmetric operations against terrorists side by side with the resurgence of kidnapping and banditry in the North-West as well as the North-Central zones of our country. This has necessitated the launching of Operation Harbin Kunama 3 and the army is working in synergy with other security agencies, the traditional institutions and other stakeholders to get rid of criminal elements.”