The Nigerian Army has disclosed that Col. Ibrahim Saka was killed while prosecuting the war against terrorism and not assassinated.
This was disclosed by the Director, Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu. Nwachukwu made this known in a statement issued to newsmen on Thursday in Abuja.
1st News reports that the widow of the late Sakaba, Mrs Oluwaseun Sakaba, had stated that her husband was assassinated. The widow had alleged that her husband, Sakaba was killed for refusing to loot funds meant for fighting Boko Haram.
But the Director, Army Public Relations, dismissed the allegation; even as he accused Mrs. Sakaba of having made several uncomplimentary comments about the Nigerian Army in the past. Further, Nwachukwu said that the widow was making reference to an unfounded and baseless claims devoid of any fact.
“While the Nigerian Army is not interested in joining issues with anyone with respect to the enormous sacrifices made daily by our gallant troops; it is however expedient to address the weighty allegations credited to the widow.
“The Nigerian Army acknowledges the emotional agony associated with losing loved ones and that cannot be quantified by any unit of measure,” he said.
However, Nwachukwu insisted that Sakaba, like other officers and soldiers, paid the supreme price in the war against terrorism in the North East; adding that his demise was a painful one to the Nigerian Army. Also, he said that the men and women died serving the nation; fighting to restore peace and stability in the North East.
Specifically, he said this is in tandem with the constitutional mandate of the Armed Forces of Nigeria.
He said that it would be totally a mischief and an assault on the psyche of the fighting troops to begin to insinuate any plot against one of its own.
“And what is the plot here? That troops were led by their commander for an operational engagement is not a plot, as anyone may want to insinuate.
“Rather, it was a clear military mission with clear objective.
“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,” he said.
On the issue of entitlements, Nwachukwu said that available records revealed that the late officer had his son, Samuel Ibrahim Sakaba as the next of kin and the only child. He said that all entitlements meant to be paid by the Nigerian Army had been paid to the son; adding that they were disbursed through Mrs Sakaba. He said that as at the time his entitlements were processed; Samuel was less than six years and, as such, he was not benefiting from army school sponsorship.
“However now that he has reached the required age, he has been captured for payment of school sponsorship which will commence any moment from now. The Nigerian Army will continue to sponsor the child’s education up to graduation from university; as long as he fulfils the requirements outlined in the rules guiding the scheme.
“The only entitlement owed Mrs Sakaba is the Group Life Assurance which is normally paid by the Insurance Company and which would soon be received along with that of other deceased personal effects,” he said.