The authorities of the Nigerian military have arrested senior Army personnel on attachment to the Multi National Joint Task Force.
Those arrested and placed under movement restriction are a Brig. Gen, a Lt. Col. and five other officers of the Nigerian Army deployed to the Baga headquarters of Multinational Joint Task Force, which was attacked and taken over by members of the Boko Haram sect on January 5, 2015.
Investigations revealed that the military authorities arrested the Brigadier-General and six other officers including a Lt. Col. in Maiduguri and moved them to Abuja for questioning
The arrested officers are expected to answer questions on the loss of men and location, and military equipment which were taken over by the insurgents
It was learnt that Baga came under attack barely 48 hours after the Army moved weapons to fortify the place in anticipation of a well-coordinated onslaught against the insurgents.
The Army authorities are angry that some of the equipment fell into the hands of the insurgents.
It was learnt that the leadership of the Army decided to order the arrest of the arrested senior officers in line with military tradition that the senior officers may have lost command in view of the circumstances surrounding the fall of Baga and had some clarifications to make.
It was learnt that the Army authorities would interrogate the affected officials to find out from them the circumstances surrounding the Boko Haram invasion of the headquarters of the MNJT and other places under their control.
The Director, Defence Information, Maj. Gen. Chris Olukolade, confaimed that officers of the Army on deployment to the MNJTF were being made to answer questions for the loss of men and equipment during the Baga attack in a text message to our correspondent on Friday.
He said that the decision of the Army leadership was normal as it was designed to gather necessary information for future operations in the area.
He said, “Nigerian officers in key command positions of the Multi National Joint Task Force are in the process of accounting for their action in the mission area leading to loss of weapons, men and location in their area of responsibility
“This is a normal military procedure in major operations and after some encounter.
“The essence is to extract and collate relevant information for subsequent missions. It could also lead to or determine appropriate disciplinary action where necessary.”
Olukolade also said that troops had killed a substantial number of insurgents who were operating in Michika, the headquarters of the Michika Local government Area.
He said that the troops had commenced an extensive mopping up operation in search of weapons, stranded terrorists and casualties.
“An extensive mopping up operation to search for arms or stranded terrorists and other casualties is ongoing in Michika after troops sacked the terrorists, who have been operating in the town and its environ.
“The main assault on terrorists’ main positions was concluded yesterday (Thursday) as many of them died in the combat. Troops who sustained injuries in the operation are receiving necessary medical attention.
“Other troops are continuing the pursuit of those who are on the run from the town. Normalcy has been restored accordingly,” he added.