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The Nigerian Army has debunked reports in a section of the media that soldiers invaded the Enugu residence of a retired army officer and evicted his family describing the stories as misleading.
The Director of Army Public Relations, Brig. Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, in a statement sent to The Eastern Updates on Friday, said the story was deliberately skewed to tarnish the image and reputation of the Nigerian Army.
According to Nwachukwu, it is expedient to set the record straight and clear grey areas on the ejection of the retired senior officer.
He noted that House 7 on Abakaliki Lane was among Federal Government houses accommodating army officers in Enugu for over two decades.
According to him, the house was allocated to retired Col. E L Ugwoke, then a Major, as his official residence when he was posted as the Deputy Commander 82 Division Intelligence Group in 2007.
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Nwachukwu explained that the officer continued to occupy the house even after he was transferred.
He added that it was later discovered that he attempted to dubiously appropriate the house to himself, using some officials of Enugu State government.
Nwachukwu said that in 2020, a committee was instituted by then General Officer Commanding (GOC) to ascertain the status of the property.
He said the property was discovered to be among the houses handed over to 82 Division by past administrators to ameliorate accommodation challenges of the division.
He said: ‘The said property was not among 26 residential quarters officially handed over to Enugu State Government in 2015.
‘There are no documents to confirm that the said property was sold or paid for by anyone.
‘It is worthy of note that officers of the army occupying institutionalised houses are expected to vacate while on posting or retirement.
‘However, the retired senior officer failed to comply, knowing fully the rippling effects on accommodation status of others posted to the division as serving officers.’
The Army spokesman also said the alleged brutalisation of the retired officer’s wife and children in the publication was false, aimed at whipping up undue sentiments.
He said the Nigerian Army is a disciplined institution with utmost regard for family institutions and the vulnerable, particularly, women and children.
According to him, the ejection process was audio and visually documented, as it was envisaged that such allegation could arise.