PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has directed the setting up of a panel to look into the cases of the 38 officers compulsorily retired by the Nigerian Army two months ago, Saturday Tribune can report.
The army had announced the retirement of the officers in June, citing partisanship and corruption.
Nine Major Generals, 10 Brigadier Generals, seven Colonels, 11 Lieutenant Colonels and a Major, the Army said, make up the 38 affected officers.
However, indications emerged during the week that the presidency has directed the office of the Chief of Staff to the President, Alhaji Abba Kyari, to institute the panel with the purpose of revisiting the retirement exercise.
Although the details of the terms of reference of the panel could not be ascertained by press time, a source close to the presidency told Saturday Tribune that the panel begun work this week.
Some of the affected officers had, in July, filed appeals asking President Muhammadu Buhari to review their cases and reinstate them because they were not given fair bearing.
Sources close to some of the officers had told Saturday Tribune that the officers premised their appeal on the provisions of the law which confers on compulsorily retired military officers the privilege of seeking the intervention of the President who is also the Commander-in-Chief.
“They are using the window of opportunity contained in Section 09.02e of the HTACOS Officers, 2012 which states that ‘an officer called upon to retire, resign or to relinquish his commission shall, if he so desires, appeal to the President and Commander-in-Chief, through the Chief of Defence Staff within 30 days to have his case reconsidered,” the source said.
The officers, despite counterclaim by the Army, have insisted that they were not given the opportunity of fair hearing before the punitive action was taken.
Many of the officers specifically claim that they were neither queried nor indicted by the authorities before they were suddenly retired for political reasons.