The Nigerian Army, on Wednesday, warned Nigerians to ignore the claims of a former soldier, Temple Ahunanya, on how he was arrested, tried and sentenced to death for requesting better weapons to fight Boko Haram insurgents.
Ahunanya had in a video published by Punch narrated his experience at the war front in the battle against Boko Haram terrorists and how he was arrested for requesting for better weapons to fight.
Reacting to the video in a statement on Wednesday, the Director of Army Public Relations, Brig Gen Onyema Nwachukwu, warned Nigerians to beware of the dismissed soldier’s alleged criminal antics, aimed at defrauding members of the general public.
He said Ahunanya was arrested in 2014, tried and dismissed for conduct prejudicial to military discipline and cowardice.
The statement read, “The Nigerian Army has taken congnizance of a video clip currently making the rounds on the social media, where one dismissed Trooper Temple Ahunanya narrated a concocted story of how he was arrested, tried and sentenced to death for requesting better weapons to fight Boko Haram Insurgents.
“Considering the enormous danger posed by this dismissed soldier to the public, it is crucial to set the record straight and alert Nigerians to beware of his criminal antics, aimed at defrauding members of the general public. The Nigerian Army wishes to commend trooper Ahunanya for making an attempt to serve this great nation. He is also commended for passing through the rigours of military training and the fog of war.
“It is however unfortunate that, despite these, he lacked the requisite qualities to progress with the profession, as he was a bad egg and a cancerous element that negatively infiltrated the ranks, corrupting the good conduct and morale of troops in the process. It is also important for the public to note that dismissed Trooper Ahunanya was enlisted in the Nigerian Army on the 20th of August 2012, and passed out from training on the 17th of December of same year.
“He was arrested in 2014, tried and dismissed for conduct prejudicial to military discipline and cowardice. He was convicted, but escaped while awaiting Army Council's approval of his verdict. This singular act portrays a tendency for evasion of justice and criminality. Hence the general public must beware not to be misguided by his misconstrued narratives as a failure on the part of the military or the government, but a ploy to create and peddle falsehood in the media space to gain undeserved sympathy.
“While in service, Ahunanya was rude, indisciplined, criminally minded and a very uncultured individual, who failed to imbibe the basic ethics and regimentation of the military profession. His unpatriotic and cowardly tendencies manifested when he was deployed for a mission to counter Boko Haram Terrorists' attack and save lives of innocent Nigerians, in so doing.
“However, against extant military laws, the dismissed soldier disobeyed and led other cowardly soldiers to disobey duly constituted authority. Ahunanya still displayed his criminal tendency in his video, as he disparaged the Nigerian Army to spike sympathy and whip up sentiment to lure unsuspecting members of the public to raise funds for his criminal activities by posting his bank account details alongside his video. This is evidently an attempt to financially hoodwink members of the public. Please be warned.
“On the issues raised concerning efficacy of weapons and their effective ranges, it is important to state that the Nigerian Army is an organized Army that conforms with the dictates of International Laws of Armed Conflict and institutionalized Order of Battle. Our troops are not terrorists or Insurgents who could use all manner of unlawful and unconventional arms. The Nigerian Army operates, following universally accepted doctrines and Order of Battle. Our troops are better trained, equipped and professional in the conduct of campaigns and operations.
“Therefore, it is surprising that Ahunaya compared a group of misguided elements operating under the influence of drugs and twisted ideologies to Nigerian Army troops.”