11 July 2019

Nigerian Military Inaugurates Court-Martial to Prosecute Erring Soldiers

The commander of the Nigerian Army's unit fighting Boko Haram, Benson Akinroluyo, on Thursday inaugurated another court-martial to try soldiers who have committed various offences.

The court-martial is to try 21 different charges brought against erring soldiers in the theatre of war.

Though the commander the Operation Lafiya Dole did not give details of the offences allegedly committed by the soldiers, previous court-martials had tried soldiers accused of rape, theft, sales of ammunition to armed robbers, torturing minors, absconding from duty posts, and several other unprofessional military conducts.

Mr Akinroluyo, a major-general, said inaugurating the court is a normal command duty that he is empowered to discharge in "utmost good faith."

"It should be noted that this court does not have any special interest to serve other than the routine duties within the realm of regimentation," said the theater commander.

He assured all parties in the court that they had no cause to fear "as the court will carry out its proceedings in accordance with the dictates of the extant rules and regulations."

He called on the president and members of the military court-martial to discharge their duty justifiably.

Fielding questions from journalists, Mr Akinroluyo said: "I am aware that there are 21 cases bothering on administrative and operational matters that are brought before the court, but I cannot go into the details; I think the court will do that."

He said the court is expected to conclude its proceedings in good time after which its judgment would be taken before the military council for final decision.


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