It has been revealed that a state governor and a bureau de change operator in Kaduna State are the owners of the N400 million carted away by five soldiers who were escorting the money to Jaji airstrip.
Informed military source disclosed to Tribune that this was the revelation by a former General Officer Commanding (GOC) 8 division, Major General Hakeem Otiki, currently being interrogated by operatives of the Special Investigation Bureau (SIB), a branch of the Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI).
The source revealed that the actual amount involved was N70 million and $90,000, but speculations have put the stolen money at N400 million which the investigators are claiming might not be true.
Tribune gathered that the GOC is cooperating with the investigators as he has totally denied that the money belonged to him.
He was quoted to have said “he does not handle payment of troops allowances,” which is directly done by the Finance Department of Army Headquarters.
However, some of the investigators are asking questions on how the former GOC got involved in the movement of such amount when he is not a bank or a licensed bureau de change operator.
It was learnt that the investigators are determined to unravel what Otiki’s interest in the money was and the purpose for which it was meant.
The source revealed that as a GOC, his monthly running cost is N10 million which has not been released for two months.
The running cost, it was gathered, will now to be paid to the new GOC, Major General J.J. Ogunlade, who has since assumed command of the division.
Tribune gathered that the investigators have dismissed the insinuations that the money might have been returns from illegal miners in Zamfara State, as the operation is directly coordinated from Army Headquarters.
The top military source said that the invitations have been extended to the said governor and the bureau the change operator, but the source could not confirm if the invitation has been honoured.
Meanwhile, the Army Headquarters has sent signals to all army formations to extend their dragnet in search of the absconded five soldiers.
The former GOC, who just handed over to his successor, was on his way to the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON) when the scam was blown open.