The General Officer Commanding (GOC), 8 Division, Sokoto, Major General Hakeem Otiki, has been placed under house arrest, Daily Sun has gathered.
The officer who was redeployed to the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON), is currently being detained at the Officers Mess where he is being guarded by heavily armed soldiers and may be moved to Abuja anytime from now.
When finally in Abuja, he is expected to be grilled by personnel from the Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI), Special Intelligence Bureau (SIB), and Nigerian Army Corps of Military Police (NACMP).
This is just as Daily Sun gathered that the so-called VIP, allegedly being escorted by the soldiers who happens to be the younger brother of the former GOC, actually connived with the soldiers to steal the N400million as he is nowhere to be found.
Similarly, contrary to speculations that two soldiers have been arrested in connection with the crime, Daily Sun, gathered that it is not true.
What happened was that one of the soldiers in the escort who refused to join with his colleague in the crime was the one who returned and reported the matter to the authorities.
Military sources told Daily Sun, that Gen Otiki, who is concluding plans to hand over to his predecessor and newly painted GOC, Major General Otolagbe, is said closely being monitored by personnel from the Directorate of Military Intelligence(DMI), Special Intelligence Bureau(SIB) and Nigerian Army Corps of Military Police(NACMP), so he would not disappear.
Also visitors willing to see the former GOC, are thoroughly being screened while those who are perceived to be suspicious are not allowed access to him.
Until his appointment, Ogunlade, was the Field Commander in charge of Operation Hadaran Daji.
Military sources told Daily Sun that none of the soldiers have been arrested so far as the solders made their arrest difficult for the security operatives.
The source who does not want to be mentioned, hinted that by dropping their riffles and other military accoutrements as well as their mobile phones, their arrest may not be possible in the coming days.
However controversy has continued to trail the actual source of the huge sum of money.
While some say the money may have been gotten from proceeds of illegal bunkering, others say the money was meant to pay troops allowances who have have not been paid in the last two months.
However others are wondering how monies meant to pay troops allowance was transported from Sokoto to Kaduna by road.
But all that would be left for the investigative panel who are awaiting the arrival of the senior officer to unravel in the coming days.
It was also gathered Otuji’s posting to ASCON, may be or have been reversed because of the matter.
A source who would not want to be mentioned because he is not authorised to speak on the matter maintained that the money does not belong to the Nigerian Army. The source said: “The Army cannot and will not give any commander that kind of money because they are not the ones that buy the weapons. That kind of money can only be given to you if they want to buy weapon but we all know that buying of weapons and ammunition is not the responsibility of General Officer Commanding, Commanding Officers or commanders.
“Buying of weapons is the sole responsibility of the government. But with what has happened so far the officer must have been involved in illegal mining or providing security for illegal miners after which he gets his cut because from investigations so far, this is not the first time the escort have transported huge monies for their master.”
The source further revealed that “investigations have also shown that there was connivance with the younger brother of the officer who was acclaimed to be the VIP the soldiers were escorting because he has also disappeared into thin air and he like the fleeing soldiers also left his mobile phone in the car which has made it difficult for investigators to track him”.
On what the next line of action would be, the source said “right now he is still in his last area of posting, Sokoto and closely being monitored to prevent him from escaping because anything can happen and the army is not taking any chances”.
“He will be there for now where he is expected to do a proper handing and taking over after which he would be brought to Abuja for further investigation and interrogation”. The source said.