The Nigerian Army has sacked Aliyu Momoh, a Brigadier General, who allegedly supervised the rigging of the 2014 governorship election in Ekiti State.
The Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan Ali, told news website, Sahara Reporters, in Washington DC, United States, during the just-concluded Nuclear Security Summit, that Mr Momoh’s career in the military had been terminated after the report of a military panel that investigated the unprofessional conduct of officers and soldiers during the elections in Ekiti and Osun State indicted him alongside other soldiers.
The board of inquiry, chaired by Adeniyi Oyebade, a Major General, made “far-reaching recommendations” meant to assist the army in future involvement in civil elections.
In arriving at the recommendations, the board spoke to 62 officers, over 100 soldiers and 62 civilians.
According to the statement, the board recommended the compulsory retirement of two officers from the army.
It also recommended that three officers should lose their commands and another recommended prosecution for collecting financial gratification.
The board further recommended the placing of 15 officers on watch list while nine others were to be handed over to the Economic and Financial Crime Commission for further investigations following allegations of corruption against them.
Six officers are to face an audit committee and 62 officers (mostly of the rank of Majors-below) were to be given letters of displeasure and to appear before their respective General Officers Commanding for counselling, the board also advised.
The panel was set up following the release of a video recording by Sagir Koli, a Captain from its Intelligence Corps, showing actions by his commanding officer (Mr Momoh) and top officials of the Goodluck Jonathan administration to rig the June 21, 2014 election in Ekiti State.
The video recording revealed the connivance between Mr. Koli’s commanding officer, Aliyu Momoh, a General, and former Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, a former Minister of Police Affairs, Jelili Adesiyan, Governor of Ekiti State, Ayodele Fayose, chieftains of the Peoples Democratic Party: Andy Uba and Iyiola Omisore, to rig the 2014 election in Ekiti State.
Mr. Koli was forced into hiding after he was tipped off of a plan by the army to arrest him.
His younger brother, a 15-year old secondary school pupil was however arrested, detained and tortured by the army.
Former President Goodluck Jonathan refused to investigate the video, saying Mr. Koli refused to come out of hiding to authenticate the recording.
The army also confirmed that Mr Momoh has been retired.
Sani Usman, the spokesperson of the army told the Punch newspaper that : “General Momoh and others have been retired from the Army”.
The newspaper said Mr Usman, a colonel, did not give further details.
According to the Punch, another senior officer also retired following the recommendation of the panel was the former spokesperson of the army, Olajide Laleye, a Brigadier-General.
It is believed that Mr Laleye was sacked following his role in the controversy surrounding the school leaving certificate of President Muhammadu Buhari, the candidate of the then opposition All Progressives Congress in the lead up to the 2015 election.
The then ruling party had accused Mr Buhari, a retired Major General, of not having a secondary school leaving certificate – the basic academic qualification for candidates vying to be President.
Mr Laleye held a press conference at the time where he stated that the Army could not find the Mr. Buhari’s West African School Certificate Examination result.