Major General Hakeem Otiki on Tuesday accused the Presiding Judge of the General Court Martial to try him for the stolen N400 million under his watch, Lieutenant General Lamidi Adeosun, of complicity.
Otiki said he was in trouble because of the bitter rivalry between him and Adeosun.
Speaking on his behalf at the Court Martial, one of his counsel, retired Major Femi Oyebanjo, said Otiki may not get a fair hearing due to the brewing rivalry.
Oyebanjo said: “The reasons are as follows: it is a known fact that General Otiki got into Nigerian Defence Academy on 10th January, 1983 while you got in on 4th July, 1983.
“He got in there before you.
“It is a fact that General Otiki actually pitied you, established and trained you.
“We have this feeling that that grudge is still there.
“More so that General Otiki took over from you as the Corp Commander, Infantry.
“We still believe that because this grudge has been there since then and because of this grudge, when you were promoted Lieutenant General, he sent you a text message to congratulate you, but you did not respond.
“In addition to that sir, it is a fact that by the time we go into this trial proper, certain issues will certainly come up and these are issues that affect your office as Chief of Operations, Nigerian Army, which you left before you got to where you are presently.
“What am I staying sir?
“It is a fact, sir that General Otiki as the GOC Commanding 8 Division of the Nigerian Army conducted Operation Sharan Daji.
“He also conducted Operation Harbin Kunama III.
“These were offices directly under your command as Chief of Operation.
“And these are operations that are going to come up in the course of this trial.
“So, sir, you are actually an interested party.”
Oyebanjo also suggested that the soldiers that stole the money in dispute did so with the support or encouragement of Adeosun.
He said: “Finally sir, it is also a known fact that as at the time General Otiki took over from you as the Corp Commander Infantry Brigade, he inherited your security personnel, your soldiers that formed the inner security of General Otiki.
“These are the same personnel that formed the reasons why we are here.
“They are actually your soldiers, your personal aides, the soldiers he took over from you.
“These soldiers are the basis why we are here today.
“My lord, we say on the basis of all these, you are going to be part and parcel of this trial, we are going to to be talking and referring to you.
“If you are going to do this job, there is no way you are not going to feature prominently.
“There is no way we will not talk about those soldiers, they were your aides, there is no way we will not talk about operations.
“Sir, on that ground, for the sake of justice, we are saying that you should excuse yourself from this trial.”