By Enyichukwu Enemanna
The Nigerian Army has defended its Chief of Logistics, Major General Erema Akerejola in alleged link with a United States multi-million dollar property, saying the said property does not belong to Akerejola.
The Army instead said the property belongs to one Mrs. Akerejola who has lived and worked in the US for the past 19 years but did not provide details of her relationship with the logistics chief.
The response came after an online news platform, Sahara Reporters published a report titled, “EXCLUSIVE: Million-dollar US Property Acquired By Nigerian Army General In Charge Of Logistics, Akerejola Uncovered As Soldiers Lament Poor Welfare, Obsolete Equipment”.
In a statement issued on Wednesday by the Director Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, the Army said the property in question was acquired 12 years ago on monthly lease and that payment for the property is still ongoing.
It stated further that Akerejola was only appointed six months ago, implying that he could not have taken advantage of his office to acquire a multi-million dollar property in the United States.
Describing the Sahara Reporters report as “toxic concoctions”, the Nigerian Army urged the public to disregard the allegation, insisting that the officer in question has had a successful career in the foremost defence agency and “has consistently demonstrated utmost professionalism and dedication to duty throughout his career.”
According to the statement, “We urge the public to exercise caution and refrain from spreading false information capable of tarnishing the reputation of individuals who have dedicated their lives to the service of our nation. We also implore the media to carry out their responsibilities with the highest level of professionalism, ensuring that accurate and verified information is disseminated to the public.
“The Nigerian Army remains committed to its mission of protecting the territorial integrity of our great nation and serving as a force for good. We will continue to hold ourselves accountable to the Nigerian people and operate with transparency and integrity at all times.
“It must be asserted that the NA under the current leadership has remained resolute in carrying out its constitutional role and will vigorously continue to implement welfare programmes for the benefit of all personnel. Troops deployed in ongoing operational engagements are putting in their best in defence of the nation and should be encouraged, rather than plotting disaffection amongst them.’
Some security agencies have been accused of procurement-related fraud especially as the war against insurgency, currently in its 15th year lingers in the North East region and parts of the North West.
Officers and men in the field have equally accused the top hierarchy of not adequately equipping them and doing enough to ensure their welfare despite billions of Naira allocated annually to fight insecurity across the country.