The Nigerian Army has sent Brig. Gen. Aliyu Momoh, Brig.-Gen. Olajide Laleye and some other officers on early retirement for their alleged involvement in the Ekiti State elections rigging allegations in 2014. Confirming this on Sunday, the Director of Army Public Relations (DAPR), Col. Sani Usman, clarified that there is nothing like “resignation in the Nigerian Army”, as was reported in some media.
Minister of Defence, Dan Ali, who disclosed the plan to end General Momoh’s military career in an exclusive interview in Washington, DC, was quoted to have said that Momoh would be forced to resign.
The Nigerian Army board of inquiry had established a panel to investigate the alleged misconduct of some military personnel during the 2014 and 2015 elections.In January, 2016, the panel released a report recommending the compulsory retirement of two officers.
The Board asides recommending the two officers for early retirement, also advised that three other officers be striped of their command, while another was to face prosecution for collecting financial gratification.
The verdict, which was then confirmed by Usman in a statement, did not mention the names of the indicted officers, but accused Momoh of accepting bribes to rig the last governorship election in Ekiti State in favour of Governor Ayo Fayose.
General Momoh allegedly led a contingent of soldiers and other security agencies, to Ekiti State and reportedly intimidated voters and inhibited the movement of officials of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in a broad strategy reportedly approved by former President Goodluck Jonathan to enable Ayodele Fayose of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to defeat the then incumbent Governor Kayode Fayemi.
An officer of the Nigerian Army, Capt. Sagir Koli, who participated in the supervision of the poll, had leaked an audio recording of a meeting, featuring Fayose, Momoh, former Minister of State for Defence, Musliu Obanikoro; former Minister of Police Affairs, Jelili Adesiyan; and the PDP governorship candidate in Osun State, Senator Iyiola Omisore, among others, where the alleged rigging was hatched. Although, they all denied the allegations.