The Nigerian Army has explained why
the men of the Army Headquarters Garrison, Mogadishu Cantonment, Abuja, took
over the premises of a company belonging to Mr. Robert Azibaola, a cousin of
former President Good luck Jonathan on Saturday.
The Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Col.
Sani Usman, told the some selected journalist that the land in question
belonged to the Army.
Usman said the Army decided to take over the
property because the service did not want any further encroachment on the property.
He stressed that the Nigerian Army would not
tolerate any encroachment on its land.
“The said property is on Nigerian Army’s land
and the Army will not allow anybody to encroach on its land.
“Consequently, the property has to be sealed
to prevent further encroachment,” he stated.
Soldiers had taken over the premises of
Kakarta Civil Engineering Limited, owned by the former President’s cousin,
located along the Kubwa/Asokoro Expressway on Saturday.
The company shares boundary with the Luigi
Barracks of the Nigerian Army.
Meanwhile, a Lagos-based lawyer, Mr. Femi
Falana (SAN), on Sunday, called on President Muhammadu Buhari, to caution the
Nigerian Army for alleged arbitrary use of its powers and use of brute force on
innocent citizens. Falana made this call
in a statement, which he made on the heel of the invasion of the premises of
Kakarta Civil Engineering Limited on Saturday.
The lawyer said the Army took
possession of the property, owned by Azibaola, without a court order.
He said, “Sequel to the illegal
action of the Army of occupation, the innocent workers in the company have been
sent to the unemployment market.
Although the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has charged Mr.
Azibaola to court for alleged criminal diversion of $40m from the office of the
National Security Adviser, he pleaded not guilty to the charge and has been
“The implication of the plea is
that he is presumed innocent until the contrary is proved by the prosecution.
“Therefore, if the Nigerian
military authorities had wanted to dispossess him of the property in question,
they ought to have applied for a court order. But by taking over the property
under the pretext that it constitutes a threat to a nearby military barracks,
the military authorities took the law into their hands.