African Outlook Online

Crime, Courts & Legal Issues

Mutiny: Military Arraigns General, 14 Senior Officers In Lagos

Lt.-Gen. Kenneth Minimah,Mutiny: Military Arraigns General, 14 Senior Officers In Lagos

Military to court-martial another 100 soldiers in Abuja

The Nigerian Army began the court martial of one brigadier-general and 14 other senior officers in Lagos, on Monday night, over various offenses in the north eastern part of the country.

The trial venue is the 9th Brigade Headquarters of the Nigerian Army, Ikeja, in Lagos State. They allegedly committed the offences while being deployed to lead various units in the battle to dislodge Boko Haram.

 

Although journalists were prevented from entering the place, a senior military officer revealed to LEADERSHIP that it was a closed-door trial and only soldiers were allowed entry. The officer disclosed that the trial was necessary in the army’s campaign against the Boko Haram sect in the country as it would serve as a deterrent to any soldier who may think of absconding from duty or betraying the force in anyway in the war against the terrorists.

 

LEADERSHIP recalls that about 54 soldiers from the 111 Special Forces battalion attached to the 7 Division of the Nigerian Army were recently found guilty of mutiny and sentenced to death by firing squad. They were accused of disobeying a direct order from their superior officers who ordered them to take part in an operation to dislodge the Boko Haram sect from Delwa, Bulabulin and Damboa in Borno State. They were to recapture the towns from the terrorists.

 

The soldiers’ defence was that they refused to participate in the operation because the army did not provide them with the required combat and support equipment needed for such operations.

 

In a similar development, a set of 12 soldiers were earlier in the year sentenced to death by firing squad for shooting at a car conveying their commanding officer, Maj. Gen. Ahmed Mohammed in September, this year. They were court martialed and found guilty of incitement and mutiny against the GOC at the army’s 7 Division, Maimalari Barracks in Maiduguri, on May 14.

 

All efforts to reach the public relations officer in charge of 9 Brigade Headquarters of the Nigerian Army, Major Gbadamosi, to comment on the development were futile as he could not be reached on phone for confirmation.

 

In a related development, the Nigerian military has concluded plans to court-martial about 100 more soldiers in Abuja, following their alleged involvement in offences linked to the fight against the Boko Haram sect. According to an online medium, Premium Times, the soldiers were transported from Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, to Abuja where they are to be arraigned before the General Court Martial.

 

Meanwhile, a total of 17 persons, including aged women and children, have been confirmed dead in a broad daylight killing spree by gunmen in Southern Kaduna village. This came just seven days after the killing of five people by a similar terrorist group in Karshi village of Sanga local government area of Kaduna State.

 

District head of Aboro, Shaibu Galadima, who confirmed the killings, said 17 people died on Sunday at Angwar Dauda village in Sanga LGA when the gunmen stormed the village at about 2pm. Galadima told officials of National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), who presented relief materials to victims of earlier attacks in the area, that most people at the Aboro displaced persons camp hurriedly moved out, out of fear, after they heard the gunfire.

 

The district head expressed appreciation the prompt response of NEMA to the plight of the displaced persons and called for more support from individuals and groups, even as he prayed for the return of peace to the area and for the unity of the country. Earlier, the head of the NEMA team, Hajia Amina Ahman, had said the relief materials were to bring succour to the displaced persons.

LEADERSHIP reports that communities in Sanga LGA have been under consistent attacks leading to the killing of more than 1,500 people this year.

 

About 14 people were killed Monday while 45 people sustained injuries when gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen attacked Naturde Village in Gassol local government area of Taraba State.

 

An eye witness who spoke to LEADERSHIP, said that gunmen numbering over 92 invaded the village during a weeding and started shooting sporadically, claiming that 42 people died during the attack. According to him, the attackers came from a neighboring village of Plateau State on a revenge mission.

 

“As I am speaking with you, we have been burying our loved ones since morning, they have killed good numbers of our people and injured scores” he said.

The witness further claimed that the village has been reduced to rumbles within the few hours of their operation.

 

When contacted, Police Public Relations Officer, Taraba State command ASP Joseph Kwaji, confirmed the attack. He also told LEADERSHIP on phone that it was 11 persons that were killed by the attackers, adding that 40 persons were also injured in the attack.

He said normalcy has since returned to the village and that the state police command is doing everything possible to ensure a hitch free Christmas this yuletide season.