DSS arrest: 5 controversies about Gen Ihejirika Yesterday

The on-going investigations in the arms deal probe involving former national security adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki took a twist with the arrest of the erstwhile chief of army staff General Azubuike Ihejirika (rtd) by operatives of the Department of State Security (DSS) on Tuesday, June 21.
The arrest of Ihejirika adds to the list of retired army officers who are undergoing investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over the diversion of money meant for the procurement of arms for the Nigerian armed forces.
READ ALSO: Troops track escaping Boko Haram family members
General Ihejirika was appointed Chief of Army Staff (COAS) on September 8, 2010 by former president Goodluck Jonathan and he occupied that position for four years until his retirement on January 2014.
However, his reign as the army boss was marred in controversies and Naij.com lists 5 controversies that plagued the military career of Ihejirika.
1. Alleged corruption
Azubuike Ihejirika’s name has features consistently as one of the former army officers who diverted billions of dollars meant for the procurement of arms for the counter insurgency war.
This embezzlement of funds allegedly carried out by Ihejirika’s and others directly led to the deplorable state of the army and the deadly lack of capacity and motivation to quell the Boko Haram attacks which was characterised the Jonathan administration.The arrest of Ihejirika adds to the list of retired army officers who are undergoing investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over the diversion of money meant for the procurement of arms for the Nigerian armed forces.
General Ihejirika was appointed Chief of Army Staff (COAS) on September 8, 2010 by former president Goodluck Jonathan and he occupied that position for four years until his retirement on January 2014.
However, his reign as the army boss was marred in controversies and Naij.com lists 5 controversies that plagued the military career of Ihejirika.
1. Alleged corruption
Azubuike Ihejirika’s name has features consistently as one of the former army officers who diverted billions of dollars meant for the procurement of arms for the counter insurgency war.
This embezzlement of funds allegedly carried out by Ihejirika’s and others directly led to the deplorable state of the army and the deadly lack of capacity and motivation to quell the Boko Haram attacks which was characterised the Jonathan administration. The allegations of corruption against Ihejirika’s has now been compounded by information by security sources that more than N400 million in cash and 12 cars were among property recovered from Ihejirika’s residence by DSS operatives following his arrest on Tuesday, June 21. The cars include 2 Bentleys; 3 Range Rovers; 2 Rolls Royce; 1 SLR; and 1 G-Wagon.
2. Alleged human right abuses
The Amnesty International in a report published on Tuesday, April 7, 2015, claims that the Nigerian military under the leadership of Ihejirika carried out abuses against civilians, as part of their fight against the Islamic extremist group, Boko Haram.The AI accused the military of carrying out war crimes through the killing of more than 600 released prisoners which occurred when Ihejirika was chief of army staff.
Another case of note is the Baga massacre by the Nigerian army of April 2013 in which up to 200 civilians were allegedly killed by the Nigerian army in reaction to an attack by Boko Haram.
The summarily executions of hundreds to thousands of Nigerians are among other crimes which have been leveled against Ihejirika.
3. Alleged sponsor of Boko Haram
One of the most damning accusations against Ihejirika was the one alleged by Australian Negotiator, Dr Stephen Davis that the former army chief was a Boko Haram sponsor.
Dr Stephen Davis in an extensive telephone interview with Sahara Reporters on August 30,2014 had alleged that the retired general, a former governor of Borno State, Ali Modu Sheriff, an unnamed senior official of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, as well as a man based in Cairo, Egypt, were among the top sponsors of the Islamic insurgents.Ihejirika has however denied this allegation claiming he was falsely and maliciously accused of sponsoring a terrorist sect to wage war, insurrection or insurgency against Nigeria.
4. Diversion of arms meant for counter insurgency war
Another tainted allegation against Ihejirika is the transfer of weapons to the north for the war against Boko Haram and the resulting use of these very weapons by Boko Haram terrorists against the people of north Nigeria. He has been accused facilitating the operations of Boko Haram including by direct provision of weaponry.5. Promoting indiscipline and nonchalance in the Nigerian Army
Ihejirika is also accused of failing to instill discipline in the armed forces while he was chief of the army.
It has been alleged that during his time the Nigerian army failed respond to distress calls for hours to days after alerts were clearly given by schools and villages of Boko Haram attacks. The former army boss boss is said to be complicit in the abandonment of position and release/transfer of arms, ammunition and military vehicles army officer to Boko Haram insurgents.
Ihejirika has however denied most of the allegations leveled against him and a court of competent jurisdiction has not found him guilty of the above alleged wrong doings.

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