The Nigerian Army has debunked claims by a dismissed soldier, Temple Ahunanya, a trooper, that he was arrested, tried and sentenced to death for requesting better weapons to fight Boko Haram Insurgents.
The Director, Army Public Relations, Onyema Nwachukwu, a brigadier general, disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja.
Mr Ahunanya had narrated his experience at the war front in the battle against Boko Haram terrorists and how he was arrested for requesting for better weapons to fight.
But Mr Nwachukwu said the dismissed soldier came up with the lies to whip up sentiment and defraud members of the public.
He said that Mr Ahunanya passed through the rigorous military training but lacked the requisite qualities to progress within the profession.
According to him, “Mr Ahunanya is a bad egg and a cancerous element that negatively infiltrated the ranks, corrupting the good conduct and morale of troops in the process”.
“It is also important for the public to note that dismissed Trooper Ahunanya was enlisted in the Nigerian Army on August 20, 2012, and passed out from training on December 17 of same year.
“He was arrested in 2014, tried and dismissed for conduct prejudicial to military discipline and cowardice.
“He was convicted, but escaped while awaiting the Army Council’s approval of his verdict. This singular act portrays a tendency for evasion of justice and criminality.
“Hence the general public must beware not to be misguided by his misconstrued narratives as a failure on the part of the military or the government.
“It is a ploy to create and peddle falsehood in the media space to gain undeserved sympathy,” he said.
Mr Nwachukwu claimed while in service, “Mr Ahunanya was rude, undisciplined, criminally minded and a very uncultured individual, who failed to imbibe the basic ethics and regimentation of the military profession”.
He said that “Mr Ahunanya’s unpatriotic and cowardly tendencies manifested when he was deployed for a mission to counter Boko Haram Terrorists’ attack and save lives of innocent Nigerians.”
He said that the “dismissed soldier disobeyed and led other cowardly soldiers to disobey duly constituted authority against extant military laws.”
According to Mr Nwachukwu, “Mr Ahunanya still displayed his criminal tendency in his video, as he disparaged the Nigerian Army to spike sympathy and whip up sentiment.”
“This was to lure unsuspecting members of the public to raise funds for his criminal activities by posting his bank account details alongside his video.”
He described the video as an attempt to financially hoodwink members of the public.
On efficacy of weapons and their effective ranges, the army spokesperson stated that the Nigerian Army was an organised institution that conforms with the dictates of international laws of armed conflict and institutionalised order of battle.
He explained that troops were not terrorists or insurgents who could use all manner of unlawful and unconventional arms.
He added that its troops were better trained, equipped and professional in the conduct of campaigns and operations.
According to him, “it is surprising that Mr Ahunaya compared a group of misguided elements operating under the influence of drugs and twisted ideologies to Nigerian Army troops”.
“It is also sad and unfortunate that a respected media organisation would publish and promote such distorted narratives without recourse to the authorities of the Nigerian Army…”