The Nigerian Army has debunked what it termed a ‘spurious allegation’ by a lawmaker that when security agents arrested suspected kidnappers of some Abia State University lecturers, a call came from a high military formation ordering the release of the nabbed suspects despite strong evidence linking them with the said crime.
According to the Army, the comments attributed to the member representing Isuikwuato constituency in the Abia State House of Assembly, Emeka Okoroafor, are “not only unfounded but a travesty of facts and reality”.
In a statement on Tuesday, the Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier-General Onyema Nwachukwu described the development as unfair and targeted at damaging the Army’s reputation.
“The claim is completely devoid of truth. It is most unfair for anyone at that height of the social ladder to sponsor a smear campaign against the Nigerian Army for whatever reason; particularly knowing that he has access to the leadership of the military,” the statement added.
“Contrary to the narrative being peddled in the said report, it took the gallantry of our men on patrol to rescue the victims of the said kidnap incident before handing them over to the police.
“How then could the same Army that was instrumental to the rescue of the victims, turn around to order the release of the suspects. Evidently, this is illogical and a blatant lie,” General Nwachukwu’s communique read.
It further noted that the report is an abysmally failed attempt at blackmailing the Nigerian Army for denying unscrupulous elements the freedom to foist lawlessness and violence on the Abia government and people.
The statement explained that the lawmaker should have sought clarifications from the Army before resorting to a “media trial”.
While reaffirming the security agency’s commitment to the fight against criminality, the Army appealed to the public to always seek clarification on issues from the Force instead of resorting to blackmail.