Following the revelation by the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, of attempts by some politicians to infiltrate the military, the Nigerian Army said Thursday that it was yet to make any arrests.
This is just as a report by Transparency International (TI) stated Thursday that the Nigerian defence and security sector is steeped in corruption, revealing that over N4.6 trillion ($15 billion) allocated to the sector in five years was either embezzled or unaccounted for.
Buratai on Tuesday had warned officers and soldiers of the Nigerian Army to steer clear of politics and politicians, whom he claimed were attempting to influence them.
He said the Nigerian Army headquarters had received information that some individuals had been approaching some officers and soldiers for undisclosed political reasons.
On this basis, Buratai warned such persons to desist from these acts and ordered his men to remain apolitical.
But responding to questions Thursday on whether the army has arrested, interrogated or questioned any of its officers or soldiers allegedly contacted by the said politicians, army spokesman, Brig. Gen. Sani Usman, said no one had been interrogated and no arrests had been made.
He said: “We have always been open and transparent with information and if there is anything, we will let the public know.”
Usman did not elaborate on any move to investigate the matter beyond the warning handed down to officers and soldiers in the army by the COAS.
Buratai’s warning brought to the fore the spectre of a coup plot, amid concerns arising from President Muhammadu Buhari’s ill health and absence from the country.
The president left the country for the United Kingdom almost two weeks ago for a medical follow-up on an undisclosed ailment.
His current trip is the third medical-related trip he has made in less than one year, fuelling speculations about his ability to lead the country.