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Army Denies Arresting Dismissed Soldier For Requesting Better Weapons To Fight Insurgents



The Nigerian Army has denied arresting and court marshalling any soldier for asking for better weapons to fight Boko Haram terrorists in the North East.

In a recent interview, a dismissed soldier, Trooper Temple Ahunanya, had claimed that he was arrested, tried and sentenced to death for requesting better weapons to fight Boko Haram Insurgents.

But in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja signed by the Army Spokesman, Brig.-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu denied the allegations made by Ahunanya, adding that they are false and baseless.

Nwachukwu said that Ahunanya’s unpatriotic and cowardly tendencies manifested when he was deployed for a mission to counter Boko Haram Terrorists’ attacks and save the lives of innocent Nigerians.

He said that the dismissed soldier disobeyed and led other cowardly soldiers to disobey duly constituted authority against extant military laws.

Nwachukwu stated that the dismissed soldier was arrested in 2014, tried and dismissed for conduct prejudicial to military discipline and cowardice.

He, however, revealed that the dismissed soldier was convicted but escaped while awaiting the Army Council’s approval of his verdict.

The statement reads: “It is also important for the public to note that dismissed Trooper Ahunanya was enlisted in the Nigerian Army on Aug. 20, 2012, and passed out from training on Dec. 17 of the same year.

“He was arrested in 2014, tried and dismissed for conduct prejudicial to military discipline and cowardice.

“He was convicted but escaped while awaiting Army Council’s approval of his verdict. This singular act portrays a tendency for evasion of justice and criminality.

“Hence the general public must beware not to be misguided by his misconstrued narratives as a failure on the part of the military or the government.

“It is a ploy to create and peddle falsehood in the media space to gain undeserved sympathy.

Nwachukwu further explained that troops were not terrorists who could use all manner of unlawful and unconventional arms.

The Army spokesman added that its troops were better trained, equipped and professional in the conduct of campaigns and operations.

He said it is surprising that Ahunaya compared a group of misguided elements operating under the influence of drugs and twisted ideologies to Nigerian Army troops.

“It is also sad and unfortunate that a respected media organization would publish and promote such distorted narratives without recourse to the authorities of the Nigerian Army.

“These actions are undoubted, calculated attempts to denigrate the Nigerian Army and undermine the sacrifices of patriotic troops, who are working tirelessly to restore peace and stability across the country.

“It must also be pointed out that while the military is very much receptive to constructive criticism, it should not be perceived as an opportunity for promoting demeaning and vilifying media contents that have the potential to embolden criminals and dampen troops’ morale.

“Suffice to reiterate that the psychological impact of misinformation and fake news is grievous and inimical to national security,” he said.

Ige Olugbenga is a fine-grained journalist. He loves the smell of a good lead and has a penchant for finding out something nobody else knows. Gbenga is an alumnus of the prestigious Adekunle Ajasin University, Ondo State and The Polytechnic, Ibadan.