A soldier of the Nigerian army’s 202 battalion in Bama, Borno state, has killed a lieutenant who did not give him a pass to visit his family.
A pass is a written permission to be away from one’s military unit for a limited period of time, and with the army’s Operation Lafiya Dole, it could be for seven, 10 or 14 days.
The soldier had requested a pass to visit his family over an urgent matter, and when he was turned down on Wednesday, he fired shots at the lieutenant who is the battalion’s adjutant responsible for administrative matters.
“The soldier joined the army in the 2016 intake and had since been deployed to fight Boko Haram in the north-east.
This time, he had been in duty post for almost 12 months and he wanted that pass by all means,” a military source in Bama said
“Normally, you apply for a pass by filling the form and then you submit to the adjutant who is the battalion administrative officer. It is the adjutant that will now make recommendations and forward to the commanding officer for approval.
“The soldier was denied the pass by the adjutant, and that was when he got angry and decided to kill him. He opened 36 rounds on the officer, killing him instantly.”
Another source said the soldier was due for a pass having spent more than the required three months which makes him eligible.
“You can apply for a pass after three months, but the problem we have in this operation is that the superiors will be telling you that we don’t have enough manpower. So, a lot of soldiers are always denied pass,” he said.
He added that the pass is only given when the soldier has to attend to critical matters like loss of parents or loved ones.
A military commander had on Tuesday also admitted that they have limited manpower to fight.
When contacted, Sagir Musa, army’s spokesperson, said he would get on the matter and share details at an appropriate time.
On Wednesday, July 29th Lieutenant BS Ngorgi the Adjutant of 202 Tank Battalion Bama Northeastern Nigeria, was shot and killed by a Soldier in his unit.
An eye witness also revealed that the troops returned to their base in Bama shortly after an operation against Boko Haram when a soldier named Private Azunna Maduabuchi decided to settle a score with his commander with his rifle. He fired eight rounds at the officer, at close range, killing him on the spot.
The lieutenant Babakaka Shehu Ngorgi graduated from the Nigerian Defence Academy in 2016 as a member of regular course 63 and later commissioned into the Nigerian Army.
Ngorgi’s late elder brother was a Major General in the Nigerian Army. The younger Ngorgi, who is newly wedded, will be buried this morning in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno.
In recent years, the Nigerian Army has experienced multiple incidents of fratricide in units involved with the ongoing counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operation against Boko Haram.
In November 2017, the Headquarters of 28 Task Force Brigade, Nigerian Army, instituted a Board of Inquiry to unravel the circumstances surrounding the killing of an Officer by a Senior Non-Commissioned Officer, deployed on duty in Chibok, Borno State.
Recently In February, A soldier serving at Army Super Camp 15 located at Malam Fatori, Borno State, killed himself after killing four of his colleagues and injured two others.
Similarly, in February, A corporal in the Nigerian Army allegedly killed a Mobile Police officer with an Anti-Aircraft Rifle (AAF), following an altercation at Makara Area of Gwoza Council of Borno State.
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Private Uzonna Maduabuchi, the soldier who killed a recently married Army Lieutenant in Bama, was embittered because his allowances were withheld and account blocked.
Maduabuchi on Tuesday morning fired at least five shots at Lieutenant Babakaka Shehu Ngorgi, his superior at 202 Battalion of the 21 Special Armoured Brigade in Bama, Borno while the latter was on telephone with his wife.
It was gathered Ngorgi got married last December and has been away on operation in the northeast since then.
According to Army sources, Maduabuchi, a 16NA Regular Intake, had complained several times about his allowances not paid and his right to pass denied.
Although it was not clear whether the deceased officer had anything to do with his plights, it was gathered Maduabuchi was heard shouting: “I have achieved my aim” after shooting Ngorgi dead.
He was said to have embarked on the shooting spree shortly after the troops returned from scanning the environment to wade off Boko Haram Terrorists (BHTs).
We gathered the shooter aimed at the officer’s chest and released rapid rounds to the amazement of colleagues who were present.
“We were all shocked because we did not expect such a thing could happen at that moment.
“Soldiers and officers were in sad mood to the extent that they wanted to go and get the shooter killed in the guardroom but the Brigade Commander gave order that they should not kill the guy.
“Later, we now tried to verify if there were issues between them but nothing personal was established.
“We only found out that the soldier’s account has been blocked for several months without collecting office allowance and salary.
“He has been complaining that he is also not allowed to go on pass. It’s painful and sad mood already here.
‘’May Almighty Allah spare our lives for future purpose and safety in this job and after May God be with us,” a soldier, who allegedly witnessed the incident said.
Confirming the shooting, the Nigerian Army spokesman, Col. Sagir Musa said the soldier was depressed.
Asked how long the soldier had been depressed and what the Army did to get him treated, Musa did not reply our correspondent.
He also did not reply to questions on allegations that Maduabuchi’s salary and allowances were withheld for several months.
He further did not provide answers on why the army left a depressed soldier at the war front.