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Army Dismisses Soldiers Who Robbed Dangote Refinery

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The Nigerian Army announced the dismissal of two soldiers, Corporal Innocent Joseph and Lance Corporal Jacob Gani, for their involvement in the theft of armoured cables at the Dangote Refinery on April 14, 2024.

Naija News reports that the incident, which has raised concerns about discipline within the ranks, resulted in the soldiers being caught with 897 armoured cables at the company’s main gate.

The Nigerian Army’s spokesperson, Major General Onyema Nwachukwu, confirmed the dismissals in a statement issued on Monday.

He detailed that the soldiers were found to have abandoned their duty post and were in unauthorized possession of the materials.

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“Sequel to a thorough investigation conducted in collaboration with the management of the company, the two soldiers were found to have abandoned their duty post and to be in unauthorized possession of the materials,” Nwachukwu stated.

The soldiers were charged under sections of the Armed Forces Act, which addresses failure to perform military duties and other civil offences.

The soldiers were tried in a military court where evidence was presented, and both had the opportunity to defend themselves. Despite their defenses, they were found guilty and subsequently dismissed from service to underscore the Army’s zero-tolerance policy towards misconduct and criminality.

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“Subsequently, they were both charged with Failure to Perform Military Duties punishable under section 57, sub-section (1), and Other Civil Offences punishable under section 114, sub-section (1) of the Armed Forces Act CAP A20, the Law of the Federation of Nigeria 2004,” Nwachukwu added.

Following their conviction, the dismissed soldiers were handed over to relevant authorities for further prosecution, marking the military’s swift and decisive action to maintain discipline and integrity within its ranks.

Further investigations revealed that the dismissed soldiers had been manipulated by a contractor named Smart, who allegedly hired them to retrieve cables supposedly left behind at the refinery.

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However, sensing potential trouble during the operation, Smart reportedly left the scene, leaving the soldiers to face the consequences alone.

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