Allegations of bribery leveled against soldiers on counter-insurgency operations in the North-East are currently being investigated, the Nigerian Army has said.
Some soldiers have been accused of demanding financial gratification from civilians before escorting them on highways in Borno State.
During the height of Boko Haram insurgency, the highway leading to Borno State was a deathtrap for travelers, some of whom were killed and dispossessed of their belongings by the insurgents, who disguised as security operatives.
Following major successes in recent months in the war against insurgency, some of the highways, which were closed following security concerns, have been re-opened.
However, some motorists have alleged extortion by soldiers along these major routes.
The Theatre Commander of “Operation Lafiya Dole”, Maj.-Gen. Lucky Irabor, who confirmed the allegations while speaking with newsmen in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital yesterday, said the ugly development is being investigated.
“I wish to use this opportunity to state that we have received reports that some personnel are in the habit of collecting money to escort civilian motorists and goods along the major routes, these allegations are currently being investigated”, he said.
Maj.-Gen. Irabor, however, advised travelers not to hesitate to report any officer or soldier who is seen collecting money to the Theatre Command.
According to the Theatre Commander, “The military has a responsibility to Nigerians. We are here to protect and assist Nigerians according to the law of the land. In that regard, all requirements for the task to be performed are being provided. Therefore, please note that you do not have to pay for such escorts and do not be accomplices to the illegal payment”.
Irabor warned that soldiers found guilty of the acts would be disciplined according to the law.
“Also, please feel free to report such illegal activities through any of these GSM numbers: 0902-810-1021 and 0808-225-2400. The lines will be available daily between 09:00 am and 07:00 pm”, he added. (NAN)