Nigeria: Army Court-Martials 3 Officers, 11 Soldiers Over Murder, Kidnapping

A serving Major, 2 Staff Sergeants and 11 Soldiers from 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt were, on Saturday, court martialled at the Headquarters of 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt on offences ranging from murder, kidnapping and assault, desertion, attempted murder, disobedience to standing orders and conducts to prejudice to service.

Speaking at the inauguration of the General Court Martial, the General Officer Commanding 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Sarham Jamil, said the offences for which the accused persons were being tried ranges from murder, attempted murder, kidnapping, desertion, offences in relation to public and services property, disobedience to standing orders and conducts to the prejudice to service discipline.

He said that all the offences were punishable under the Armed Forces Act CAP A20 Law of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.

Major General Jamil said that the Headquarters of 6 Division had painstakingly selected credible officers as members of the Court Martial to ensure fair hearing and justice.

He added that due regard was accorded to the officers having indebt knowledge of military law and outstanding experience of military duties.

He urged the members to be just and fair in the conduct of the trial as to ensure that each accused person is given a fair trial.

He said: "As we all know, trial is not only aimed at seeing that offenders are punished but to serve as deterrent to others so as to prevent future occurrence. In this light, justice therefore, is a 3-way traffic; Justice for the accused, justice for the victim and justice for the state. I must state clearly that the accused persons are presumed innocent of the offences charged against them until proven guilty by this Court," he said.

Earlier the Court Martial President, Bregadier General Bassey Etuk said the court will do justice to all cases brought before it.

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