The Nigerian Army (NA) has reacted to speculations of the complicity of its troops in the kidnapping incident of Methodist Church of Nigeria Prelate, Samuel Kanu.
A statement on Wednesday by Brig. Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu absolved the military arm of involvement.
The spokesman said while the Army shares the pains of victims of heinous crimes, linking soldiers without investigations “cannot be swallowed hook line and sinker."
Nwachukwu raised some “pertinent questions” which, according to him, “are still unanswered”.
“Given the spate of insecurity in the region, the question would be, was the issue reported to the unit covering the area?”, he quipped.
“Did the Methodist Church take the NA into confidence while negotiating the ransom with the kidnappers?”
The Army said no formal complaint had been received by the unit, adding that it was worrisome that a ransom was paid in less than 24 hours.
Was the ransom paid to troops? "These are questions that beg for answers," Nwachukwu further asked.
The Army disclosed that it had yet to receive any debrief from the Prelate or the Methodist Church.
It said troops deployed at the Forward Operating Base (FOB) Okigwe, Abia State University Uturu, and the 14th Brigade got no information about the abduction.
Nwachukwu told the public that deployment is not done with consideration of ethnic affiliation.
"Hence, the deployment of troops of Fulani ethnic extraction who, as alleged by the Prelate, carried out the dastardly act is not our practice or modus operandi in the NA.”
The Army stressed its zero tolerance for any misconduct and promised to take the weighty allegation seriously by approaching the Prelate and the Methodist Church.