Al-Mustapha to Retire with Full Service Benefit as a Major
Against the backdrop of the rumours that Major Hamza Al-Mustapha, former Chief Security Officer (CSO) to the late Head of State, Gen. Sani Abacha would be promoted to the rank of brigadier general following his recent acquittal by the court, the Director of Army Public Relations (DAPR), Brig-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, described the report as false and erroneous.
Attahiru in a statement Tuesday, clarified that there were professional procedures that should be followed and fulfilled before an officer can be promoted.
He said: “The Nigerian Army as a professional force wishes to state that all administrative procedures are guided by extant administrative rules and regulations such as the Armed Forces of Nigeria Harmonised Terms and Conditions of Service amongst others”.
Checks however revealed that Al-Mustapha that Al-Mustapha would be officially retired from service with full benefits.
Sources said Al-Mustapha would be retired with the rank of Major but he might get all his cumulative entitlements in the last 14 years that he had been in prison custody during his trial.
Justifying the consideration for the payment of his entitlements despite the fact that he did not serve the military during his trial, the source said: “He was never retired in the first place but I assume he will be retired with full benefits with the rank of Major. However, he will also stand the benefit of being paid his entitlements for all these 14 years and as well be free to contest elections.”
Some however have expressed reservation on why Al-Mustapha was neither retired nor dismissed all these years, in line with the tradition of the military to avoid things that could negatively affect its image.
“I think with his age and years of service, he is automatically gone. By his age, he is gone; I mean his mates are now within the rank of Major General, which he has automatically been disqualified from attaining as he did not attend the necessary courses and examinations. However, since he was in prison all this while, which was not his fault, the best thing is to retire him.
“We were even wondering why his name has not been struck off the list when all these things were going on. Normally, he was supposed to have been retired or dismissed as the case may be during all these issues to avoid dragging the name of the Nigerian Army into the mud,” the source added.
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