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Army dismisses soldiers who robbed Dangote refinery

Army arrested

The Nigerian Army, on Monday, said it has dismissed two soldiers, Corporal Innocent Joseph, and Lance Corporal Jacob Gani, accused of stealing armoured cables at the Dangote refinery on April 14, 2024.

The soldiers entered the facility in an Acura jeep but were caught at the company’s main gate with 897 armoured cables that had been cut to size.

Confirming their dismissal in a statement on Monday, the spokesperson for the Nigerian Army, Major General Onyema Nwachukwu, noted that the two soldiers were found to have abandoned their duty post and “to be in unauthorized possession of the (897 armoured cables) materials,” and had since been handed over to relevant authorities for further prosecution.

Nwachukwu said, “In line with the Nigerian Army’s commitment to upholding high standards of professionalism, integrity, and discipline, the NA wishes to update the general public on the outcome of the investigation into the alleged theft of armoured cables at the Dangote Refinery premises on April 14, 2024, involving Corporal Innocent Joseph and Lance Corporal Jacob Gani.

“Sequel to a thorough investigation conducted in collaboration with the management of the company, the two soldiers were found to have abandoned their duty post and to be in unauthorized possession of the materials.

“Subsequently, they were both charged with Failure to Perform Military Duties punishable under section 57, sub-section (1), and Other Civil Offences punishable under section 114, sub-section (1) of the Armed Forces Act CAP A20, the Law of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.

“They were summarily tried. During the trial, the evidence against them was presented, and they were allowed to present their cases and defend themselves. They were, however, found guilty of the charges levelled against them in accordance with military laws.

“As a demonstration of NA’s zero-tolerance for misconduct and criminality within its ranks, the two soldiers have been dismissed from the NA with immediate effect and handed over to relevant authorities for further prosecution.”

Last week, Onyema said the soldiers who had been dismissed had been hired by a contractor identified as Smart.

He noted that a preliminary investigation conducted into the incident revealed that Smart informed the soldiers that he needed to retrieve some cables that had been left behind at the facility.

Onyema added that when they got there, Smart sensed trouble, then excused himself and left the scene.

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