The Nigerian Army has begun the quizzing of its former General Officer Commanding of the 8 Division, Sokoto State, Maj. Gen. Hakeem Otiki, following the N400m said to have been stolen by escort soldiers in the division.

Apart from the quizzing, the former GOC was said to be under close watch and would be brought to Abuja after he had handed over and cross-examined by the Directorate of Military Intelligence, the Special Intelligence Bureau and the Nigerian Army Corps of Military Police.

Five soldiers had been confirmed to have stolen the money while on an escort duty from Sokoto to Kaduna states in the first week of July.

The former GOC had reportedly asked the soldiers to escort the money and deliver it to a Very Important Personality in Kaduna.

The army’s spokesman in 8 Division, Lieutenant Audu Arigu, had confirmed the incident, saying investigation had commenced, and had identified the runaway soldiers as Corporal Gabriel Oluwaniyi, Corporal Mohammed Aminu, one Corporal Haruna, Oluji Joshua and Hayatudeen.

Army sources said on Sunday that the runaway soldiers turned in their rifles and abandoned their mobile phones at the Infantry Corps in Jaji, Kaduna State, before they escaped.

One of them said, “Investigations so far show that this is not the first time the escort soldiers have transported such a huge amount of money for the officer. The soldiers all left their mobile phones in the vehicle, which has made their tracking difficult.

“The former GOC is being quizzed. He will be in Sokoto State for now where he is expected to properly hand over to the new GOC and then he will be brought to Abuja for further investigation.”