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Dozens of army officers sacked in Nigeria over corruption allegations

Dozens of army officers sacked in Nigeria over corruption allegations

Nigeria

Nigeria’s army has sent nearly 200 officers packing in a move to rid the armed forces of corruption .

The army officers are being accused of stealing billions of dollars meant for buying arms to fight the Boko Haram insurgency.

According to the army spokesperson Colonel Shani Kikesheka Usman, some of the officers who have been fired held senior ranks within the Nigerian army.

He further added that others were handed to the country’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for investigations over diverting billions meant for the purchase of arms while others played partisan roles in the 2015 general elections.

Among the officers on trial for corruption are two former defense staff.

Also on trial is former national security adviser retired Colonel Sambo Dasuki, who admitted to diverting $ 2.1 billion dollars, nearly half of the country’s army budget, on the orders of former president Goodluck Jonathan, to bribe officials to win Jonathan his party’s presidential nomination.

However some of the fired officers say that it could be a witch hunt pointing to ethnic and religious cleansing within the forces.

Nigeria’s president Muhammadu Buhari has blamed corruption for failure to curb the Boko Haram insurgency that has so far killed more than 20,000 people.

Agencies

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