The Nigerian Army has announced the promotion of 421 top officers to new ranks including Ahmed Ibrahim Taiwo, the officer who testified at the Lagos Judicial Panel of Inquiry probing the Lekki shooting and other cases of police brutality.
Taiwo, a brigadier-general was promoted to the rank of major-general but is – alongside other newly promoted officers – barred from using the new rank until formally decorated.
ARISE News had reported how Taiwo, the Commander, 81 Military Intelligence Brigade, Lagos, told the panel of inquiry that Phase Four of the military internal security operation, which was deployed in the Lekki toll gate on the night of October 20, were in possession of both live and blank ammunition.
He told the panel that a portion of the troops that operated at the toll gate on that night were indeed armed with live bullets, but maintained that only blank bullets were shot into the air.
Details of the promotion is contained in a Nigerian Army memo signed by GAT Ochigbano, a major general.
Another beneficiary of the mass promotion is a colonel and former commander of the Nigerian Army 5 Brigade, Gubio, Borno State, I.A. Ajose, whose command fell to Boko Haram terrorists on August 10, 2019.
In September, Ajose, alongside others, were withdrawn from the battlefront over the attack which caused the loss of several soldiers and a large number of weapons, which were carted away by the insurgents.
Whether Ajose had missed promotion in the past remains unclear but the latest move shows that Ajose has now become a brigadier-general, with effect from August 12, 2020.
By Abel Ejikeme