Nigeria: Illegal Dismissal - Sacked Soldier Closes Case Against Nigerian Army

A soldier, Mohammed Suleman, who was retired under controversial circumstances, on Monday, closed his case against the Nigerian Army at the National Industrial Court, Abuja.

Mr Suleman and 37 others were forcefully dismissed in 2016, without due process by the army.

In a letter notifying the soldiers of their sack, the Nigerian Army accused them of professional misconduct and added that the sack was a disciplinary measure.

They were neither brought before a court martial nor questioned on account of the allegations before their sack.

In a reaction, many of the sacked soldiers approached the NIC to demand their reinstatement.

While some of the cases have proceeded fairly in court, the Nigerian Army has attempted to frustrate the outcome of some others.

After presenting his last witness, David Ighodaro, on Monday, Mr Suleman's lawyers told the court of their desire to close their case while expecting the judgement of the Court.

Mr Ighodaro, who works with the legal services department of the Nigerian Army, had told the court in his brief adopted on Tuesday that the applicant was sacked by the army as a measure of discipline.

He however failed to give details of the events that gave rise to the requirement for the disciplinary measure.

According to Mr Ighodaro, "The army reserves the right to hire and fire its officers including the claimant for actions, conducts, among others which bother on indiscipline, unprofessionalism, threat to national security, among other reasons.

"Mr Ighodaro also added that the army council has no obligation or duty to even give reasons for the compulsory retirement of the claimant."

Responding to questions regarding the reasons for the controversial sack, Mr Ighodaro said he was not aware if Mr Suleman was ever questioned on the allegations against him, before the sack.

The case was adjourned till September 26 for adoption of written addresses.

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