Two court-martials were inaugurated by Nigerian Army’s Joint Task Force North-East operation, Hadin Kai, on Saturday October 9 for trial of defaulting soldiers serving at the operation ground in the North-East.
The military personnel numbering 158 would be tried on matters relating “directly to the regimentation, discipline, efficiency and morale of the military.”
The Area Commander of the joint task force, Maj. Gen. Christopher Musa who noted that the court-martials were in line with the two sets of laws guiding the command, revealed that the first court-martial will be presided over by Maj. Gen. Bainze Mohammed, while Lt. Col. Rotimi Bakare will be the judge’s advocate. The second court-martial will have Brig. Gen. Dominic Udofia as its president while Squadron Leader Audu Satomi will serve as the judge’s advocate.
Musa stated that the officers and soldiers shall be given the right to a fair hearing and granted access to legal representation, and those found guilty and eventually convicted will be granted the right of appeal in the Appeal Court.
28 officers are among those to be tried, while the remaining are 130 soldiers serving in the various units of the operation ground.
“As we all know, courts-martial trials are regimental and judicial exercises, the end of which may review, reduce or remove the rights and privileges of any convicted service personnel. To maintain the armed forces in a state of readiness, the military, as an institution, must be ready to enforce internal discipline effectively in accordance with the extent laws.
“The military has its code of service discipline to meet its peculiar disciplinary needs. In this regard, emphasis shall be laid on statute laws and the traditional military regimentation with due adherence to the fair hearing requirements as enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended.
“In this regard, the officers and soldiers shall be given the right to a fair hearing and granted access to legal representation. If found guilty and convicted, they will be granted the right of appeal in the Appeal Court.
“The motive is not to demoralize the troops serving their fatherland. As soldiers in the North-East, every patriotic Nigerian that has accepted the challenge to have a career as a soldier knows the rules and rules are to be observed. If, in the course of defending our nation the soldiers run foul, the laws will take its course.”