Court Order: Senate blasts Nigerian Army over refusal to pay soldier N25.3 million judgment debt

Senate

The Senate on Tuesday urged the Nigerian Army to pay N25.3 million as damages to a retired major, Ali Abdullahi, as ordered by the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, High Court.

The resolution of the senate followed the recommendation by the committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions.

The petition was submitted in February 2017 by the senator for Kogi Central, Ahmed Ogembe.

Sam Anyanwu, (Imo-PDP), who presented the report, said the Army was wrong to tag the officer a terrorist.

“It is unfortunate that this time in the life of the nation, that the military could still work against one of its own, claiming that a retired major was a Boko Haram just because he refused to accept the overtures of another political party other than his own.

“From submissions and other testimonies received from both parties, the Nigerian Army was aware that there was a judgement which mandates them to pay to the tune of N25.3 million and yet, it deliberately refused to pay.”

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Mr. Anyanwu said the Nigerian Army failed to explain why it refused to obey the court ruling since 2013, claiming that it was going to appeal the case.

The senate adopted the committee recommendation that Nigerian Army “immediately arrange and pay Major Abdullahi Ali a judgement sum of N25.3 million awarded by FCT High Court as compensation for illegal detention and inhuman treatment meted out to him in 2012 by the Nigerian Army.”

Similarly, the Nigerian Army urged the Nigerian Army to reinstate, promote and retire 13 officers who were dismissed wrongfully.

Mr. Anyanwu, while presenting the report, said the Nigerian Army could not explain the reason for the ‘unjust dismissal.’

“The Nigerian Army could not explain the reasons for the retirement of the 13 officers but claimed that their retirement was based on a 2007 terms and conditions of the Nigerian Army which they could not even make available to the committee.

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“The terms and conditions under which the petitioners were commissioned were those contained in the 1984 terms and conditions of service which did not contain the 40 years age limit clause they effected in retiring them.”

Mr. Anyanwu added that the Army had initially gone against its resolution.

“Fortunately for the petitioners, when the chairman senate committee on defence and army of the 7th senate wrote the Nigerian Army on the matter, it replied that the matter had been conclusively dealt with, and the 13 officers were expected to process their retirement to the rank of captain in the appropriate departments of the Nigerian Army. Unfortunately, the officers were turned back when they went to process their retirement as indicated.”

The committee recommended that the petitioner, Solomon Damina, and 12 others be immediately reinstated, promoted to the rank of captain and be retired with effect from 2nd January 2008 with all their entitlements full paid to them.

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The recommendation was adopted by the senate.