Thousands of square meters of land set aside for the Asokoro military barracks in Abuja were reported to have been divided among current and past military chiefs, officers and their families while Nigerians were conveniently distracted clamoring for the return of the 234 abducted Chibok girls, according to a detailed, shocking report in DailyTrust of June 4th, 2014.
Beneficiaries included former chief of army staff, COAS Azubuike Ihejirika, several Ihejirikas, his wife, Gift Ihejirika; the current COAS Kenneth Minimah, former Chiefs of Defence Staff Air Chief Marshal Oluseyi Petinrin and Admiral Ibrahim Ola Sa’ad, as well as former Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal Mohammed Dikko Umar and retired Major Hamza Al-Mustapha of the Abacha era.
Quote from the DailyTrust:
The Army has shared out to top military brass part of a land that was meant for barracks in the Asokoro District of Abuja, documents leaked to Daily Trust have shown.
Also among the 439 beneficiaries in the land sharing are spouses, relations, friends, associates and companies of senior Army officials.
There are also many retired officers as well as civilians on the list of those given allocations from the land.
The Annex B Layout Army Barrack, Cadastral Zone A04, land was originally set out for building of barracks for the Air Force, Army and Navy.
Daily Trust learnt that the Army carved part of its own land and shared it out to top military brass and others, obviously for them to build private homes and businesses.
A document signed by Maj. Gen. I. Sani on January 2, 2014 shows that the 439 plots were allocated to individuals and companies from a land bearing the title ‘Asokoro Annex B Layout Army Barrack.’
Chief of Army Staff General Kenneth Minimah and his predecessor General Azubuike Ihejirika were respectively allocated 2035.41sqm and 3909.35sqm of land.
Those who got allocations along with their wives include former Chiefs of Defence Staff Air Chief Marshal Oluseyi Petinrin and Admiral Ibrahim Ola Sa’ad, as well as former Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal Mohammed Dikko Umar.
Ihejirika’s wife Gift got Plot 4882 which is 2385.59sqm, while another person named Oke Ihejirika was given 1,583.59sqm of land.
A company named Goodok Oil and Gas, which got 7476.95sqm of land, was registered on April 12, 2012 with three directors bearing the ‘Ihejirika’ name, namely: Ihejirika Okechukwu, Ihejirika Chika and Ihejirika Goodluck.
Former Chief of Defence Staff General Alexander Ogomudia, former Minister of State for Defence Olusola Obada, counter-terrorism chief Major-General Sarkin Yaki Bello and Major Hamza Al-Mustapha are also on the list, with various sizes of plot allocations.
We are talking about hundreds of plots, enough to build over 300 homes and worth billions of naira, given to General Azubuike Ihejirika and his family, for instance.
Nigerian will like to know why Federal land needed for the development of the Nigerian army was divided among these beneficiaries.
Nigerians demand to know why these military men, some of whom stand accused of grand treason and intentional perpetration of terror to Nigerian civilians and military officers were given this stupendous “bribe.”
Nigerians demand the immediate repossession of all military lands divided among these officers. We do not feel they deserve this appeasement at a time of national suffering, sorrow and mourning.
The Nigerian military is being grossly undermined underfunded and sabotaged, leading to a state of dangerous insecurity to the nation and leaving its brave active soldiers in grave harm. It is appalling to realize that while Nigerians were protesting for the Federal government and army to bring back our girls, to fight Boko Haram, top military chiefs were dividing up hundreds of plots of military land among themselves and their families to the tune of billions of naira.
Military corruption has led to the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives, injury to millions, the displacement of over 4 million Nigerians and property damage in the trillions.
We demand accountability, judicial use of Nigeria’s wealth including land by the executive leadership of this nation and repudiation for careless and harmful execution of duty, rather than insane compensation for treasonous performance.
Nigerians stand by their diligent military men and believe they should be treated to the best standards, yet the same and legally permitted standards that all hardworking citizens are treated to.
We expect a full disclosure of the process of full repossession of Nigeria’s State lands, from the Goodluck administration.