Olaleye Aluko, Abuja
An officer in the Nigerian Army, Major Akeem Oseni, who was convicted by a General Court Martial in Abuja and escaped from court premises, has been arrested in Benin Republic.
Oseni, who is one of three army personnel jailed on Friday for 10 years over the death of a Lance Corporal, Benjamin Collins, was arrested on Monday at the Cotonou International Airport around 2pm.
Our correspondent also learnt that some soldiers had been detained and were being quizzed by the Army Headquarters Garrison, in relation to how Oseni escaped in the first instance.
PUNCH Metro had reported on Monday that Oseni, whose judgment was delivered by the General Court Martial in Command Mess, Asokoro, told court officials he was going to use the toilet before he escaped.
It had also been reported that the Nigerian Army launched a manhunt for the officer and sent a signal to all its units and formations to arrest him.
The army signal had noted that the police and the Department of State Services had been informed and they had joined the search party.
The other two army personnel who were jailed 10 years alongside Oseni were Major Ogbemudia Osawe and Second Lieutenant Nuhu Dogary.
An official statement on Monday obtained by our correspondent confirmed that the army major was arrested in Benin Republic.
The statement said, “The escapee officer has been arrested in the Cotonou International Airport around 2pm while waiting to board a Cote D’Ivoire airline by 5pm to the United States; same is currently in the custody of the Benin Republican Force and awaiting international protocols for repatriation back to Nigeria.”
An authoritative source also told our correspondent on Monday that one Captain Chime and a lieutenant had been detained for allegedly allowing Oseni to escape.
He said, “The fugitive major was arrested in Benin Republic. Two officers were immediately detained after his escape from the court on Friday.
“A board of inquiry has also been set up by the army to investigate the circumstances surrounding Oseni’s escape. The board is expected to commence sitting immediately.”