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Army inaugurates court martial to try personnel for murder, other crimes

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Army inaugurates court martial to try personnel for murder, other crimes

FILE PHOTO: Nigerian soldiers accused of mutiny during a court martial session in 2015

Published By: Ayorinde Oluokun

By Polycarp Auta

Nigerian Army on Tuesday, inaugurated a general court-martial to try 17 personnel who allegedly committed murder and other crimes.

The general court-martial was inaugurated at the 3 Division of the Nigerian Army, Rukuba, near Jos.

Speaking during the inauguration, the President of the court-martial, Brig.-Gen. Liafis Bello said the court was conveyed by Maj.-Gen. Abdusalam Abubakar, the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 3 Division in line with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution as amended, the Armed Forces Act (Rules of Procedure) 1972, and other extant laws.

”The Nigerian Army thrives on discipline, regimentation, and utmost professionalism.

”Unraveling a court martial in the Nigerian Army is a routine duty aimed at ensuring strict compliance with the dictates of the military justice system.

”It is delightful to know that 3 Division keyed into the Chief of Army Staff command philosophy, which is to transform the Nigerian Army into a well-trained, equipped and highly-effective force toward achieving our constitutional responsibility within a joint environment.

”To achieve this, strict discipline, maintaining exemplary leadership, regimentation and outmost professionalism cannot be overemphasised.

”It is on this premise that this division deemed it appropriate to convey this general court martial with the purpose of trying serving personnel for commission of infractions,” he said.

Bello explained that the court would be guided by the provision of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria, Armed Forces Act (Rules of Procedure) 1972, and other relevant laws.

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He added that the principle of natural justice, equity and fairness would be the watchword of the court.

The president said that the court would ensure justice and fairness to all.

He charged counsel to ensure decorum during proceedings.

While swearing in the president and other members of court martial, the Judge Advocate, Maj. Nasir Abdullahi, said that the court martial was an internal
mechanism adopted by the Nigerian Army toward ensuring total discipline among its officers and men.

He gave the assurance that each accused personnel would be entitled to a defence counsel.

Speaking to newsmen, Maj. Aminu Mairuwa, the Chief Prosecutor, said that the essence of court martial was to ensure that army personnel would always operate within the confines of rules of engagement, code of conduct and international best practices.

Mairuwa, who is the Acting Deputy Director of Legal Services of the division, said that the accused personnel consisted of one officer and sixteen soldiers.

He said that the personnel allegedly committed murder and unlawful possession and sale of firearms, among other unacceptable conducts.

The accused personnel would be arraigned before the court on March 6.

(NAN)

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