The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Lucky Irabor has called on the military authorities to obey the court judgement in favour of 38 senior officers of the Nigerian Army and grant them voluntary retirement.
Irabor made the request in a letter he wrote to the Defence Minister, General Bashir Salihi Magashi (rtd) to revisit the issues surrounding the “arbitrary” retirement of the 38 officers.
His action followed the failure of the Nigerian Army to recall the “wrongfully” retired officers after a series of intervention by the minister of justice and the attorney-general of the federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami based an industrial court verdict.
Among those sacked “arbitrarily” by the Nigerian Army authorities in 2016 were nine major generals, 10 brigadier generals, colonels and a major.
The authorities of the Nigerian Army had ignored the plight of the “victimised” officers, the verdict of the court and the intervention of the National Assembly (NASS) to have them reinstated as ordered by different courts.
In the letter to the defence minister with reference No. CDS/8/A, General Irabor cited the disobedience to court order on the reinstatement, the intervention of the justice minister and other appeals to President Muhammadu Buhari on the plight of the officers.
The letter reads in part: “Meanwhile, to resolve and ensure compliance of the judgement, the Honourable Minister of Justice also intervened by imploring the Nigerian Army through the CDS to comply with the subsisting court judgement.
“It would be noted however that the issue remains unresolved hence this current appeal to revisit the 2016 compulsory retirement of the 38 senior army officers.
“Therefore, the appeal is being made on the need to motivate both serving and retired personnel, sustain morale and sharpen the psyche of the future generation of officers.
“The appeal, therefore, if upheld will ensure the primacy of military organisational values are kept permanently high without dampening morale or breeding mistrust.
“It is apt to state that reservists and retired military personnel are a vital workforce for advancing national interests, as such, must be carefully managed to check inordinate activities by highly skilled but disgruntled personnel.
“It is in view of the foregoing, and to lay the matter to rest, this appeal is recommending that the 38 NA senior officers be voluntarily retired with effect from January 1, 2018.”
The affected officers are Maj Gen MY Ibrahim, Maj Gen SD Aliyu, Maj Gen FO Alli, Maj Gen IN Ijioma, Maj Gen Ejemai, Maj Gen LC Ilo, Maj Gen Ude, Maj Gen EJ Atewe and Maj Gen LI Wiwa.
The Brigadier Generals are Brig Gen LM Bello, Brig Gen ASH Saad, Brig Gen Mormoni-Bashir, Brig Gen DM Onoyvieta, Brig Gen B Fibuonuma, Brig Gen Koko-Essien, Brig Gen IM Lawson, Brig Gen AI Onibasa, Brig Gen D Abdulsalam and Brig Gen Aghachi.
The Colonels are Col DR Hassan, Col MA Suleiman, Col FD Kayode, Col TT Minimah, Col FE Ekpenyong, Col OU Nwankwo and Col CK Ukoha.
The Lieutenant Colonels are Lt Col TO Oladuntoye, Lt Col CO Amadi, Lt Col OA Baba-Ochankpa, Lt Col E Egemole, Lt Col KO Adimoha, Lt Col DB Dazang, Lt Col T Arigbe, Lt Col Enemchukwu, Lt Col GC Nyekwu, Lt Col A Mohammed, Lt Col AS Mohammed and Major TA Williams.