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Nigerian Army Vows to Probe Candidates With False Certificates

In the early hours of Wednesday, a video circulating on the Internet did its rounds while depicting the horrendous activities surrounding local government certificate issuance backing claims of Indigene for non-Lagos residents.

The revealing yet shocking two-minute video uncovers screening irregularities carried out in obtaining slots for candidates into the ongoing Nigerian Army 86 Regular Recruits Intake at Ikeja Cantonment, Lagos.

However, one Lt. Colonel Gambo is mentioned as the provider of one Luka David’s certificate in the attempt to bypass the screening process with the state of an indigene certificate whose signatory, name, and stamps carry that of the Oshodi Local government secretary, Akinleye Oluwaseun Smart.

One Zechariah Rafo also claimed to be the Lt. Colonel’s uncle, though his state of origin is Kaduna, yet has a certified state of indigene certificate in Oshodi LGA.

In a recall dated back to 2015, Lt. Colonel Gambo was kept in a guardroom for sentencing the now-dismissed soldier, Aguloye Sunday, to just imprisonment and hard labour after 28 days imprisonment based on the accusation of “laxity and cowardice in the course of duty”.

This came up during the last dismissal of over 200 soldiers at the Rukuba Barracks in Jos, Plateau State, in 2015 for failure to capture the Sambisa forest – a notorious hideout for Boko Haram terrorists in Borno State. These soldiers were arraigned on a two-count charge over  “failure to perform military duty and disobedience to standing order”.

Meanwhile, one of the dismissed soldiers, Aguloye Sunday, reportedly revealed to a journalist that the weapons provided to the troops by the Nigerian Army were obsolete, and he had waited in the base for 3 days in vain to obtain ammunition.

The army spokesperson, Sani Usman, dismissed the soldier’s claims as untrue, even though the soldier claimed they were owed 10 months’ salary at the time.

But then the name Lt. Colonel Gambo resurfaced at the ongoing intake screening going on in Lagos. The Colonel was described as uncle to the Kaduna-born Lagos-origin certified candidate in the Nigerian Army’s ongoing screening intake.

However, netizens amidst low public trust have expressed shock yet criticize the process of obtaining certificates in Nigeria, which is fast becoming a norm through racketeering or other scandalous means.

Hours later, the Nigerian Army issued a press release urging prospective candidates to follow due process, and the Director of Army Public Relations, Major General Onyema Nwachukwu, made a warning. He said, “We wish to inform the general public that the fraudulent act perpetrated by the three candidates who attempted to secure vacancies designated for candidates with Lagos State indigeneship is a serious breach of our recruitment process and will not be condoned.

We want to assure the public that a thorough investigation will be conducted to ascertain the extent of these fraudulent activities and to identify any individual(s) or unscrupulous syndicate(s) involved. We are dedicated to ensuring that only the most qualified and deserving candidates are selected to serve in the NA.

The NA will continue to work closely with relevant authorities to ensure that those responsible for this misconduct are held accountable. The culprits involved will be handed over to the appropriate prosecuting agency. The NA is committed to upholding the rule of law and ensuring that justice is served in this matter.”

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