IBADAN – THE 2 Division, Nigerian Army, Adekunle Fajuyi Cantonment, Ibadan, has set up a seven-man court martial to look into allegations preferred against 14 soldiers.
The soldiers were alleged to have been involved in offences ranging from rape, murder, manslaughter, stealing, burglary, and kidnapping.
Among the soldiers was one who allegedly beat his wife to death. The names of the accused soldiers whose trial would start from June 26 were given as Colonel S. Idris, Colonel Francis Eyemese, Lance Corporal Bello Lawal, Lance Corporal Anthony Okpe, Lance Corporal Emelike Okoro, Private Sapper Aliyu Taffida, Private Sanni Mohammed, and Private Shuaibu Dauda.
Others are Private Oswel Friday, Private Abdulkarim Abba, Private Ukandu Ikachukwu, Private Eyo Ukwu, Private Pinda Danjuma, and Private Henry Ahamefule.
The court martial was inaugurated by the General Officer Commanding, GOC, Major-General Mohammed Abubakar.
Names of the team that would try the alleged erring soldiers are Lieutenant Sunday Akinyemi and Colonel Musa Mohammed who is the lead Judge Advocate.
The leader of the team is Brigadier-General Okon Ekanem. Other members of the court martial are Colonel T.C. Eze, Colonel M.S. Subaru, Colonel F.O. Akanji, Colonel H.R. Momoh and Colonel M.A. Masanawa.
Gen. Mohammed said: “The purpose of military law and justice is to ensure and maintain discipline in the Armed Forces as a means of achieving military efficiency, good command and control of its members. However, such discipline must be based on justice predicated on the rule of law.”
The leader of the court martial, Ekanem promised that adequate provisions would be made for fair hearing, justice and fair play both for the prosecution and the accused.
saying “the appointment should be a challenge to all of us and gear us up to carry out the assignment with all sense of duty and dedication. I promise that the court will discharge its duty with all fairness and justice. We shall be guided by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”.
He sounded a note of warning that he would not tolerate any unnecessary adjournments from the counsel or the accused.