Military authorities have placed immediate-past General Officer Commanding (GOC), 8 Division, Sokoto, Major General Hakeem Dapo Otiki, under house arrest after some soldiers reportedly bolted away with about N400 million allegedly belonging to him.
The Ikorodu born army general, who was redeployed to Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON), is being detained in the Officers Mess until he would be moved to Abuja for interrogation by personnel from the Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI), Special Intelligence Bureau (SIB), and Nigerian Army Corps of Military Police (NACMP).
He is reportedly being guarded by heavily armed soldiers who are carefully screening his visitors.
The commanding officer was said to have detailed five soldiers to transport the huge sums of money on July 11.
The soldiers – two corporals and three lance corporals – moved the money from Sokoto to the Nigeria Army airstrip in Jaji, Kaduna State.
According to reports monitored on Premium Times, the soldiers were instructed to load the money unto a military jet for transport to Abuja, the soldiers reportedly failed to do so but instead shared it among themselves and disappeared.
The soldiers reportedly dropped their rifles, uniforms and other accoutrements, and mobile phones before vanishing into thin air with the money.
The source of the huge sum of money remains unclear, while some say the money may have been gotten from proceeds of illegal bunkering, others insist the money was meant to pay the backlog of troops allowances.
The army’s spokesman in 8 Division, Lieutenant Audu Arigu, had confirmed the incident, saying investigations had commenced and had identified the runaway soldiers as Corporal Gabriel Oluwaniyi, Corporal Mohammed Aminu, one Corporal Haruna, Oluji Joshua and Hayatudeen.
One of them said, “Investigations so far show that this is not the first time the escort soldiers have transported such a huge amount of money for the officer. The soldiers all left their mobile phones in the vehicle, which has made their tracking difficult.
“The former GOC is being quizzed. He will be in Sokoto State for now where he is expected to properly hand over to the new GOC and then he will be brought to Abuja for further investigation.”