Army Will Sanction Soldiers Involved In Banex Incident If Found Culpable – Lagbaja

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The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja, has assured Nigerians that soldiers involved in a recent incident at Banex Plaza in Abuja will be sanctioned if they are found to be culpable.

The military had taken over the plaza for several days after an alleged attack on its personnel by civilians on Saturday, May 18, 2024.

Lagbaja, who was a guest on a  Television May 29 special programme to score key areas of President Bola Tinubu’s administration after one year in office, said the army is still investigating the incident.

“The press release from the director of army public relations clearly stated that these allegations will be investigated.

“We are investigating it and we will take appropriate sanction on the troops if the are found to be culpable,” Lagbaja said.

There were criticism for the army for shutting down the plaza after the incident which denied business owners in the plaza from carrying out their businesses. Many said the action by the army was unlawful.

However, Lagbaja justified army’s occupation of the plaza for days, insisting that it was the duty of the army to ensure that law and order is maintained after the incident.

“If we perceive there is a likelihood of breach of law and order, we take appropriate action because if Banex is touched, it is the military that will be called out,” he said.

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Meanwhile, the the Nigerian Army on Monday announced immediate reopening of Banex Plaza after days of closure.

In a statement on Monday, the spokesperson for the Army, Major General Onyema Nwachukwu, said the reopening of the plaza was agreed at a high-level meeting convened in the Office of the National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu.

In the statement on Monday, Nwachukwu said the primary objective of the meeting was to identify and apprehend the perpetrators and ensure the continued security of the Federal Capital.

He added that the leadership of Banex Plaza was instructed to lock up Shop C93 with immediate effect.

Also, the owners of the shop who orchestrated the mob attack on the soldiers are to be arrested and handed over to the Nigerian Police.

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