18 November 2012

Nigeria: JTF Fails to Stop Soldiers' Trial Over Bayelsa Killings

The Joint Military Task Force code named Operation Pulo Shield, on Friday, failed to stop a suit filed against it by the Ijaw People's Development Initiatives (IPDI) over the alleged killing of seven youths by soldiers on the waterways of Agge community in Bayelsa state.

In the suit, the JTF, the Chief of Army Staff and the General Officer Commanding Sector 1 of the 3rd Battalion in Effurun were listed as defendants.

The trial judge of the state High Court 4 sitting in Warri, Delta State, Justice Ikebbe, struck out the request of the counsel to the Chief of Army Staff, Barr. I. Ikponmwen, for the suit to be dismissed based on faulty service and wrongful inclusion of the Army helmsman as the co-defendant.

Counsel to IPDI, Barrister Omes Ogedengbe, had faulted the application of the Chief of Army Staff and asked the court to refuse the request because it lacked merit and was an abuse of the court procedures since the defendant's counsel had not filed any defence on the matter.

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