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Nigerian Legion: Chairman debunks alleged fraud allegations



The Chairman of Nigerian Legion, Lagos Chapter, Deputy Commander General (DCG) Akeem Wolimoh, on Friday debunked allegations against him by some disgruntled members of the legion.

Wolimoh, in an interview with our correspondent in Lagos, said that the allegations were baseless, pointless and an attack on his personality which he would not allow to slide.

NEWSVERGE reports that a 13-State Councils (Corps of Nigeria Commissionaires), representing 13 Local Government Areas (LGA), signed a petition on Dec.4, 2023 accusing Wolimoh of “embezzlement, looting and gross misappropriation of Nigerian Legion Lagos State funds.”

They recently alleged that he duped the Council Manager of Ejigbo Local Council Development Area (LCDA) of N3,000,000 meant for the procurement of arms for the legionnaires.

The petitioners also allegedly accused him of tendering a forged Nigerian Army Discharge Certificate which he used during screening prior to his emergence as the State Chairman, Nigerian Legion.

Wolimoh said that the attack on his person was simply because he would not allow the quarterly subvention from the Lagos State government to be shared among them.

He added that one of the accusers told him that the subvention was arranged so that they could be feeding themselves with it; so anytime the money came, a certain percentage was to be paid to them.

“This subvention comes every three months from the state government in the form of security votes to carry out our activities within the state.

“This is paid to the Legion to maintain the activity in order to encourage the Legion as it is given to other security agencies head in the state.

“The subvention comes on a quarterly basis forming significant part of the running of the State headquarters Office which is not indicative of money to area councils,” he said.

The DCG said: “In Lagos State, we have 57 LGAs and LCDAs, and the legion exists in not less than 55 of these area councils.

“The substance of activities at each level is independent of collective effort, therefore, it is expected that each level generates revenue and pays itself out of the revenue generated for their activities.

“This simply means that every council has autonomy of revenue generation and expenditure,” he said.

Wolimoh said that most of the members agitating did not have good understanding of the Nigerian Legion structure and mode of operation.

He said that a few area councils were being paid stipend by their corresponding LGA and LCDA because of how they had been able to manage their affairs within their area council.

“You can’t just sit down at your home and be expecting somebody to be paying you for effortless existence in a place without contributing anything”.

He said that in preparation for the last Armed Forces Remembrance Day, a lot of emblems were brought for those at the area councils so that they could generate funds from its sale, but nobody came to collect them.

“If we now sell these emblems at the state level following due diligence, they will now expect us to remit money to them.

“Some of our council chairmen don’t even organise trainings in their area of responsibility when there are many agencies and corporate bodies ready to assist the legion.

“Another way they can generate revenue is through the provision of corporate security service to private organisations but they are not taking advantage of any of these methods,” the DCG said.

Wolimoh said that the accusation of embezzlement and looting of funds especially from the sale of emblems was preposterous.

“The N10 million agitation they are clamouring on from the sales of emblem is because they do not have a good understanding of how much was invested into realising that amount.

“Those who enrol with us and are part beneficiaries of the legion are the ones who sell the emblem and they have a commission on every sale they make.

“We also cater for the welfare of our aged members among other activities to be done after the Armed Forces Remembrance Day or do we start begging for money for that one separately?.

“Those agitating don’t even know what is left after the cost of investment has been removed from the 10 million they are agitating for,” he said.

The DCG said that the agitators could have come to him for clarity on the matter instead of going straight to the media without proof and understanding of what was happening.

Wolimoh said that the money given by Ejigbo LCDA for arms procurement facilitation was not initiated or singularly handled by him.

He said that Salami Ijaodola, Secretary of the Nigerian Legion in Lagos State, initiated the process and that the money was paid into the Legion’s account.

“I was accused of duping the LCDA of N3 million. Why will I do that when I have access to loans from various loan facilitators.

“A state chairman of a body like the Nigerian Legion which is part of the Lagos State government security architecture will now stoop so low to dupe someone of N3 million.

“Is that accusation appropriate ? You can see that it is a critical point which is detrimental to my personality and such cannot be allowed to slide,” he said.

The DCG said that the petition levied against him in December was already being addressed at the Zone 2 Command of the Nigerian Police in Lagos, so why now bring it to the press.

“They claimed that I don’t have a discharge certificate when I receive pension and participated in the Pilot Test of the Military Pension Board Electronic Verification Management System exercise.

“About 96,000 people were selected across the country to participate in the verification exercise.

“I am one of those that has successfully done theirs and already have my reference number to that effect.

“Already, all these issues are being investigated and I don’t know why they didn’t wait for the outcome of the investigation before going out with these false allegations,” he said.

Wolimoh said that their actions only showed that it was an intentional act aimed at damaging his personality and reputation which had been done and needs to be corrected.

“This move by them already negates the basic aim of the Nigerian Legion which is to foster comradeship among ex service men instead of fostering enmity.

“I am not against anybody but I am for anybody who is ready to tread the path of truth.

“The fundamental thing still remains that we should be able to identify our expectations and responsibilities for us to know what questions to be raised and what response to give,” he said.

Oladapo Udom

NEWSVERGE, published by The Verge Communications is an online community of international news portal and social advocates dedicated to bringing you commentaries, features, news reports from a Nigerian-African perspective. A unique organization, founded in the spirit of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, comprising of ordinary people with an overriding commitment to seeking the truth and publishing it without fear or favour. The Verge Communications is fully registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a corporate organization.



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