The soldier, who was arrested for allegedly killing an Islamic cleric in Yobe State, Goni Aisami, was recently redeployed for allegedly stealing N480,000 belonging to his commanding officer.
The soldier, John Gabriel, a Lance Corporal, attached to the Nigerian Army 241 Recce Battalion, Nguru, was interrogated as the prime suspect in the theft of N80,000 and N400,000 on two occasions before he was redeployed to the checkpoint, an army source said.
The soldier was the orderly of the battalion commander, GS Oyemole, a colonel, before he was asked to leave sometime in July because of his dubious character, the source who confided in PREMIUM TIMES added.
“The commanding officer had to redeploy him because he could not establish any evidence of stealing but he cursed him and told him that if it’s his character he would meet his end”, he added.
“Ironically, the day the Commanding Officer, Mr Oyemole handed over to a new commanding officer Mr Gabriel was arrested for killing the Islamic Cleric,” the source in the army revealed.
He killed the cleric with a gun he hid inside a folded military camp bed after the cleric gave the soldier a lift to a neighbouring town, Jaji Maji, in the Karasuwa Local Government Area of the state.
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The police spokesperson in Yobe, Dungus Abdulkarim, a deputy superintendent of police, said Mr Gabriel is in the custody of the police with his accomplice, Adamu Gideon, who is also a soldier.
The arrested soldiers are believed to be a criminal team. Sources said they killed the cleric after they saw what they thought was money in the cleric’s car who was returning from Kano.