SUNDAY PUNCH’s investigation on Saturday evening showed that the exercise affected mostly generals, colonels and other middle level officers.
The retirement came in the wake of the approval of 150 top officers for promotion by the Army Council on Tuesday.
The Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Koleosho, confirmed the retirement of the senior officers in a telephone interview with our correspondent around 10:30pm.
He said it was expected that while the army was promoting officers, the service would also retire those that were due to leave.
Koleosho said the retirement, recruitment and postings were regular aspects of the administration of the army at the end of the year.
He said, “It is true; it is a routine exercise. It happens everywhere and the Nigerian Army is not an exception.
“As you are promoting, you are also retiring, it is routine. It is normal for some people to go home at the end of the year.
“Retirement, recruitment and posting are regular features in the Army.”
Efforts made to get the list and number of officers that were retired were not fruitful.
It was learnt that the army had taken a decision not to publish the retirement list because of the tendency of some persons to read religious and ethnic meaning into the exercise.
Already, letters of disengagement have been sent to those affected.
It was further gathered that the exercise might have affected top officers of the military who were asked to step aside for the ongoing investigation into the twin bomb blast that rocked the Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji in November.