The Nigerian Senate has begun an investigation into the dismissal of 38 men of the Nigerian Army, after one of the affected officers, Abdulfatai Mohammed, wrote a petition to the National Assembly.
- Mr Mohammed’s petition was received by the Senate through Ovie Omo-Agege (Delta, APC) on July 19 this year.
- The petition was then referred to the committee on ethics, privileges and public petitions chaired by Samuel Anyanwu, (Imo, PDP) for investigation. The first hearing of the committee on the petition has been slated for Wednesday.
- At the hearing, the parties, including the Army and the affected officer, will make presentations in connection with the petition, alleging arbitrariness in the manner the officers were removed from service by the military.
- The army had in June 2016, announced the compulsory retirement of the 38 officers on different ranks on the grounds of alleged professional misconduct during the 2015 general elections, as well as involvement in the $2.1 billion arms procurement scandal.
- However, series of investigations (Premium Times), revealed that the Army breached its own rule by retiring most of the officers without query or indictment by any panel, thereby raising the question of arbitrariness.
- At least thrice, they have petitioned the Presidency. But at no time has any of them been replied.
The petition to the Senate is the latest of their efforts at seeking reinstatement.