Nigerian Army has said the late Colonel Ibrahim Sakaba died gallantly fighting Boko Haram terrorists and his benefits have been paid except group life insurance.
The director, army public relations, Brig Gen Onyema Nwachukwu, stated this when he reacted to reports credited to Mrs Oluwaseun Sakaba, the widow, alleging that the late senior officer was assassinated for refusing to loot funds meant for fighting insurgency.
She was quoted to have made several comments about the Nigerian Army when the Army released photos of repentant terrorists for amnesty.
He said while the NA is not interested in joining issues with anyone with respect to the enormous sacrifices made daily by its gallant troops, it would however, address the weighty allegations credited to the widow.
Nwachukwu said, “The Nigerian Army acknowledges the emotional agony associated with losing loved ones and that cannot be quantified by any unit of measure.
“The demise of late Col Ibrahim Sakaba, like those of other officers and soldiers, who paid the supreme price in the war against terrorism in the North East, is one that is painful to the NA. These men and women died serving our nation, fighting to restore peace and stability in the North East. This is in tandem with the constitutional mandate of the Armed Forces of Nigeria.
“Therefore, it will be totally a mischief and an assault on the psyche of our troops, who are relentlessly fighting, to begin to insinuate any plot against one of our own. And what is the plot here? That troops were led by their commander for an operational engagement is not a plot, as any one may want to insinuate.
“Rather, it was a clear military mission with clear objectives. It is however, disheartening that this gallant officer and some of his men paid the supreme price in the operation and we pray fervently for the repose of their souls.
“Col Sakaba was a respected senior officer who gave his all in the defence of the freedom we all enjoy today. His demise is a great loss to all of us. Insinuating anything contrary is a disservice to our nation and the sacrifices of our troops.”
On his entitlements, Nwachukwu said available records revealed that Master Samuel Ibrahim Sakaba, the son of Mrs Seun Sakaba, is the next of kin (NOK) and the only child.
“All entitlements meant to be paid by the NA have been paid to the NOK through Mrs Oluwaseun Sakaba,” he said.