Nigerian Army rises in defence of late Maj Udiadenye, says was fine officer, never faced court marshal

Late Major UJ Udiadenye

Over one month after his alleged suicide at Nigeria Defence Academy (NDA) Kaduna using his service pistol, the Nigerian Army has risen in defence of the integrity of late Major Udiandeye Jeremiah Udiadenye, saying that contrary to reports, he had an unblemished records and never needed to face a General Court Martial (GCM) before his tragic death.

The Army said that until his death, Major Udiadenye was the Commanding Officer of 167 Special Forces Battalion at Giri, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.

According to a Tuesday night statement by Spokesperson of the Nigerian Army, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, “the Nigerian Army (NA) has observed an obnoxious insinuation making the rounds on social media, alleging that late Major Udiandeye Jeremiah Udiadenye, terminated his life through suicide, because he was being interrogated or investigated by a military court martial in 1 Division, Kaduna.

“Having lost one of its finest officers, the authorities of the Nigerian Army feel deeply concerned that unscrupulous persons under whatever guise would employ such sad occurrence to malign their own Army. Nevertheless, for the sake of posterity, it needs be mentioned that the late senior officer had an unblemished career in the military and never needed to face any disciplinary process.

“Until his demise, he was the Commanding Officer of 167 Special Forces Battalion at Giri in the FCT from where he led special operations to various commands including 1 Division.

“An appropriate Board of Inquiry has been instituted to ascertain what led to the tragic incident and its report will guide the NA on subsequent actions and measures to take to forestall a recurrence.

“The NA belongs to the Nigerian people and remains obligated to work along established guidelines as a responsible corporate entity. The general public is urged to deny (sic) the ignorant piece making the rounds please.”

Earlier reports at the time of his death said he was a former Battalion Commander who led the fight against Boko Haram/Islamic State in West Africa Province (ISWAP) terrorists in Northeast Nigeria, Major UJ Udiandenye, allegedly killed himself less than 72 hours to the verdict of a General Court Martial (GCM) trying him for alleged military infractions during the war.

The report informed that the offences listed against the deceased officer by the GCM in the 1 Division include misappropriation of funds, abandonment of military post, insubordination and desertion, among others.

But another source attributed the Major’s death to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), noting that he had been in the North East for some time battling Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists.

The Major, a Course 55 Regular Officer and other members of his class, were said to be due for promotion to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel this September.

At the time of the tragic death, General Nwachukwu, said he had not been briefed.

However, the Public Relations Officer of the NDA, Major Bashir Jajira, dismissed the report, saying no officer of the Academy was involved in suicide.

“No personnel of the Academy was involved in suicide as reported, and in fact, our cadets are presently in Kachia for combat shooting training. They are not in the academy. So, no such training took place.”

In the same vein, the Assistant Director, Army Public Relations, 1 Division Headquarters, Kaduna, Major Musa Yahaya told Daily Trust that he was not aware of any Court Martial taking place in the Division as earlier reported.

*Additional reports by Global Upfront

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