The Nigerian Army has interrogated Col. Ojogbane Adegbe, the Aide-de-Camp to former President Goodluck Jonathan, in connection with the ongoing probe into the alleged arms procurement scandal.
The PUNCH reliably gathered on Thursday that Adegbe, who was arrested on Wednesday in Lagos, was taken to the Mogadishu Cantonment, Abuja popularly referred to as Abacha Barracks, where he was interrogated by some senior military officers.
It was learnt that the former ADC and seven other serving army officers were handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission at noon on Thursday.
Investigations revealed that the former ADC was undergoing a National Defence College course in one of the military institutions in the United Kingdom.
A source said he was recalled and arrested by the personnel of the Military Police and Directorate of Military Intelligence on his arrival in Lagos on Wednesday.
The source added, “The former ADC to President Goodluck Jonathan has been picked up by the Army.
“The man was recalled from a National Defence College course he is undergoing.
“He was arrested in Lagos and taken to the Abacha Barracks in Abuja on Wednesday. He was interrogated by some senior military officers.”
Another source said Adegbe was recalled from the UK course to respond to issues relating to the ongoing investigation into arms procured under the Jonathan administration.
The source stated, “The colonel was recalled from the course to answer certain questions in relation to the ongoing investigation into arms procured under the Jonathan administration.
“He was taken to the EFCC at noon in response to the allegations. Seven other army officers had also been taken to the commission.”
The source said the arrest of the officers marked the beginning of the EFCC’s investigation into the Nigerian Army’s components of the arms procurement scandal.
When our correspondent contacted the Acting Director, Defence Information, Brig.-Gen. Rabe Abubakar, he said he did not have the information on Adegbe’s arrest, restating the support of the military for government policies to combat the menace of corruption.
He pointed out that anybody, whose name was mentioned in connection with the ongoing probe, was not above interrogation.
He added, “I cannot say whether he is arrested or not. But any person, who is involved in the arms matters, would be arrested.
“We are in support of the policies of the FG in tackling the menace of corruption in this country. We have said we will support the ongoing investigation into the diversion of public funds. We have to corroborate our stance.
“Whosoever is involved is immaterial. I don’t have such information now but whosoever is involved, we will support the relevant agencies to do their jobs. This is something that would be beneficial to the country.”
Checks at the EFCC revealed that Adegbe was taken to the Idiagbon House Head Office of the commission by a Lt.-Col and some lawyers whose identities were not disclosed.
A top operative of the anti-graft agency told one of our correspondents on Thursday that Adegbe was still writing his statement.
The source said Adegbe was being questioned by the EFCC because his name came up among those said to have distributed some money to politicians.
“The former ADC is here. He came with a Lt.-Col, some lawyers, and maybe, those who escorted him here. He must be writing his statement,” the source added.
Investigation revealed that the EFCC had opened effective investigation into the cases against officers of the Nigerian Army.
It was further gathered that there had been redeployments of Army personnel in relation to the development.
It was gathered that the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, had removed the Director of Military Intelligence, Brig.-Gen. Abubakar Sa’ad, and replaced him with Maj. Gen. Tarfa. Tarfa was Nigeria’s Defence Adviser to Mali.
When one of our correspondents contacted the acting Director of Army Information, Col. Sani Usman, he said he would get back to him and had not returned the call as of the time of filing this report.
Similarly, all attempts to get an official confirmation from the spokesperson for the EFCC, Mr. Wilson Uwujaren, proved abortive as his phone indicated that it was switched off.
A source in the EFCC confided in one of our correspondents at 9pm on Thursday that the former ADC was released after writing his statement.