Rivers Poll Hijack By Soldiers: Army Concludes Investigation, Heads May Roll

The high-powered committee set up by the authorities of the Nigerian Army to investigate allegations of misconduct by soldiers during the March 9 governorship and House of Assembly elections in Rivers State is set to submits its report having concluded work.

Findings of the investigating committee, heads may roll in the army.

The committee is said to have indicted some personnel, after reviewing the video clips on activities of soldiers during the elections.

Top military sources told Daily Sun that the committee, headed by Major General Tari-Timiye Gagariga, would submit its report after the rescheduled elections in Rivers State by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

In investigating the case, the committee, which was set up following outrage from the public over the conduct of soldiers during the governorship elections in Rivers State, visited the state where it met with Governor Nyesom Wike and other stakeholders.

The committee also visited other states, where allegations of misconduct by soldiers were reported and took time to review all the video clips on the alleged misconduct of army personnel during the elections and also interviewed eyewitnesses and stakeholders.

A military officer, who pleaded anonymity, told Daily Sun that some indicted army personnel may face General Court Martial (GCM) in the coming days if the recommendation of the committee is implemented.

The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, had summoned some commanders of units and formations of the Nigerian Army across the nation, especially states where misconduct of army personnel was recorded to Abuja for interview.

Following this, the army chief raised the committee to probe into the allegations. The committee was to investigate the base, having in mind the code of transparency and accountability by army personnel deployed for election security duties.

The nine-member committee has its terms of reference to include thorough investigation of the reported activities, actions and inactions of personnel of the Nigerian Army in all the states where extant Rules of Engagement and Code of Conduct in internal security operations duties during election were violated.

It is also charged with the responsibility to investigate all reported infractions or violations against security agencies, particularly the army.

The army chief has assured Nigerians that appropriate punitive measures would be applied to those found culpable, in accordance with the military justice system.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Army has concluded plans to submit what it calls an “After Action Review” to the Federal Government.

The After Action Review document, Daily Sun gathered, is a complete report of the Nigerian Army’s operations, findings, observations and recommendations during the 2019 elections.

Sources told Daily Sun that the document, which is the first to be initiated by the army, would go a long way in helping government prepare for future elections, in terms of security.

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