Maj.-Gen. Benson Akinroluyo, General Officer Commanding (GOC), 3 Division, Nigerian Army, Jos, said body of missing Maj. Gen. Alkali Idris (retd) was allegedly buried secretly by Dura Du community.
He said that investigation revealed that the community, which had the corpse of the General while the search for him was on, buried it in a shallow grave in “no man’s land’’ somewhere in the community.
Akinroluyo stated this at a news briefing on Friday in Jos, and said that as the investigation on the whereabouts of Alkali intensified, the community exhumed the body from the first spot and re-buried it secretly.
He said that investigations revealed that when the General’s car was discovered in the village’s pond on Sept. 29, the community hurriedly constituted a10-man team to exhume the body and rebury it in a secret location.
“When the General’s black Toyota Corolla car was recovered from the abandoned mining pit, intelligence gathering revealed that a meeting was held in the community to relocate his corpse.
“This is because of the fear of the calamity that may befall the community when the discovery is done; so, they constituted a 10-man team to execute this function.
“The corpse, before it was exhumed, was buried in a shallow grave at a site called
no man’s land within the community and a specialist in preservation of corpse was contracted to assist in the function.
“ The specialist engaged, who is currently in our custody, revealed this information to us and only a few trusted members of the community are aware of the new location,” he said.
The GOC disclosed that during interrogation of some community members apprehended, four of them, at different times, took the Army to the shallow grave where the senior officer was buried.
“The different sources not known to each other and at separate times, took us to the opened shallow grave where the senior officer was previously buried but removed.
“Furthermore, sniffer dogs, which have been cultured with the personal effects of the senior officer, led us to the same opened shallow grave.
“The operation was carried out based on credible intelligence,’’ he said.
He said that the “cordon and search’’ operation was being conducted in line with international best practices and respect for human rights, adding that only suspected perpetrators of the crime were targeted.
Akinroluyo expressed concern that community leaders in Dura-Du district were involved in protecting perpetrators of the evil act, and had earlier engaged women to protest against draining the pond where the Alkali’s car was discovered.
“The community leaders have recently been staging news conferences and writing petitions in order to smear the image of the Division and the Nigerian Army in general.“
He reiterated Army’s commitment to find Alkali’s body and arrest his attackers.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that a white Toyota Lite-Ace bus, which was reported missing with the driver in June, 2018 and a red Rover car which also got missing along with its occupants in 2013, were recovered at the pond site.
One Yusuf Abubakar, nephew of Mr Lawal Isa, the owner of the red Rover car, had said that his uncle, his friend and driver were attacked by community members of Dura Du community in 2013 where he was formerly a resident.
He said the discovery of the car later was proof that his uncle was perhaps killed and buried in the community.
In his contribution, Leader of the Search and Rescue Mission of the army, Brig.-Gen. Ibrahim Mohammed, said they believed that more recoveries would be made at the pond site.
He said engineers would be engaged for further collaborations and consultation to ensure that the pond did not pose a threat to the community.
NAN reports that eight persons have been declared wanted in connection with the incident. They are Chuwang Samuel, Nyam Sam, Pam Dung, Mathew Wrang, Moses Gyang and Timothy Chuan.
Others are Mr Yakubu Rap, District Head of Dura village, who allegedly co-chaired the meeting where decision to relocate Alkali’s corpse was taken, and Chuwang Stephen, who also participated in the meeting.
On Sept. 2, 2018, gunmen attacked a shopping complex in Lafande community in Dura-Du district of Jos South Local Government Area and it triggered protest by the people of the area.
Consequently, on Sept. 3, youths blocked the Eastern Bye-pass and Gen. Alkali travelled on that road same day, trying to get to Bauchi from Abuja.
He did not complete the journey and his whereabouts was unknown, forcing army authorities to declare him missing and search initiated.
The Toyota car, which he travelled in was later discovered at a mining pond site in Dura Du community but his body not yet found.