Military Court demotes Nigerian General for training foreign students

nigerian-army-headquarters

A Special Army Court Martial has demoted a senior officer, Patrick Falola, from the rank of Major General to Brigadier-General, for admitting students for clinical training without permission from higher authorities.

Mr. Falola, Director, 68 Military Reference Hospital, Yaba, Lagos State, was arraigned on a two-count charge before a court martial presided over by James Gbum, an Air Vice Marshal.

Mr. Falola admitted international students from Espan Formation University, Cotonou, in Benin Republic, between July and September, 2016.

Mr. Gbum, the president of the court martial, said Mr. Falola’s conduct amounted to fraudulent use of the armed forces’ property.

He acquitted Mr. Falola on the charge of conduct prejudice the service, but convicted him on fraudulent misapplication of the hospital’s property.

“This court is compelled to award a higher punishment under sections 103 and 66 of the Armed Forces Act Cap A 20 laws of the Federation 2004.

“The court has taken into consideration the service record of the convicted senior officer, the touching plea in mitigation by the defence council as well as the demeanor of the convicted officer.

“But we have also taken into consideration the senior officer’s seniority, rank, experience and the regimental tradition of the armed forces.

“This court has discharged and acquitted the convicted officer on the first charge, on the second offence, the sentence is reduction in rank to Brigadier General,” he said.

Mr. Gbum said the filing and sentence were subject to confirmation by the Nigerian Army Council which was the confirming authority.

He said the convicted officer would maintain his rank until the council concludes the confirmation process.

The prosecuting counsel, Ukpe Ukpe, a Lt. Col., told journalists that the convicted officer was arraigned for using the Nigerian army’s property to train students from neighbouring Benin Republic without following the necessary procedure.

Mr. Ukpe said the judgment was a balanced one as the court was very liberal in meting out punishment.

“If you check Section 115 of the Alarmed Forces Act, the offence falls under Section 68. Punishment that could be meted out include dismissal, imprisonment or even death; but the court went down to reduction in rank which is balanced enough.”

The defence council, Enokela Onyilo-Uloko, a retired Wing Cdr., said the conviction had no legal backing and was an attempt to tarnish the clean record of his client.

Mr. Onyilo-Uloko said this was because there was no law stating that senior officers must take permission from higher authorities before allowing such training.

He said his client only did what his predecessors also did, which was no crime, adding that his client would appeal.

“No such law was tendered in evidence but they are saying he should have used his initiative when there is no law finalising an act. It does not amount to criminal offence that my client is being tried for.

“So, the conviction is based on nothing and cannot stand the light of day in the eye of the law.

“And when we go higher to the Court of Appeal, I assure you, this conviction will be thrown out,” he said. (NAN)

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  • Dr Pat Kolawole Awosan

    Nobody nor matter how highly placed or army rank is above the Nigerian-state and Nigerian army act as well as the constitution of Nigeria.How can a whole senior army general, not know the limit of his authority by training foreign students without the permission of the army authorities?Serve him right as nobody is above the law of the land.

    • veritas

      you are right. But i will disagree with you on this comment “Nigerian army act as well as the constitution of Nigeria” i dont know if you have been watching the news to say that, but killing and secretly burrying 1000 shiites part of our constitution? are coups also part of the constitution? is jurisdiction hopping and undermining the relevance of other security agencies by the Nigerian Army part of our constitution? and also is plucking out eyes and brutalizing civilians part of our constitution? Face the fact my friend. The Nigerian Army believe they are above the Nigerian constitution and that the only important and respected constitution is their own made military constitution.

      • Commentsfile..!!!

        you always agree with every one and at
        the same time easily disagree with anyone..
        which one you dey… flip flopping?
        the military are tidying up their house
        and you are complaining, if they dont you
        will still moan,, all the crimes you attached
        behind our military, hope you would help
        to substantiate your claims when asked to
        explain more.
        No Fayose style oo .. be sure o before u talk!

        • veritas

          Dude people make good points and also no points at the same time in their comments. I have no emotions or sentiment thats why i agree and disagree. I agree with what is logical and disagree with rumours. And i didnt complain about the military tidying up their house. i do support that. And as for the crimes you say i attached to our military, Am i lying? i didnt write the news or news paper reports we all see about our military atrocities. You want to deny they never committed those atrocities? I will not join other nigerians who are so quick or have short term memories to remember that less than 17 years ago the military were in charge after removing and killing the winner of a free and fair election. Today you all praise them and have forgotten it because of them our democracy is only 16 years old and looting behaviour became popular. I will never respect or love the Nigerian Army. We are here today because of them

  • serubawon70

    Was the General given money for training foreign students? Or are they from enemy countries? What is the procedure for admitting foreign students for training? His lawyer may have a point

    • veritas

      Yes you are right and so is his lawyer. But he works for an organisation with rules and he must follow the rules related to his actions. But its too much to demote him when other officers have done 10 times worst things than he has.

  • Rommel

    It appears that discipline is returning to some institutions in Nigeria,the argument that the convict was merely doing what his predecessors did does not hold water,seems to me that it would be appropriate for clearance to be sought before admitting foreigners into military facilities

    • Otile

      One rule for Fulanis another for the rest of the people. Arrest Damabazua and Buratai quickly then you can talk of discipline. Nepotism is not corruption my foot.

      • Izedomi Ohirein

        One at a time. Left to people like you, no one will the charged.

        • Otile

          Charge them all. Unequal justice is no justice, it undermines peace and unity.

          • Izedomi Ohirein

            The devil you know is better than the angel you don’t know.
            No one is an angel in Nigeria. At list Buhari is fighting corruption today than ever before.
            Those not charged today could be charged tomorrow. It is not possible to charge every corrupt people in Nigeria. You are calling for anarchy. Buhari need people to work with.

          • veritas

            LOl… really? Those who embezzled from military times how many are on trial today?

          • Izedomi Ohirein

            Yes, you’ve made my point. Buhari will not live for ever to protect Dambazo & Burutai.
            We have worst crimes than their’s.
            Mrs Jonathan claiming to own $31.4million. NNPC, NSO & NEPA staff money loots ETC.

          • veritas

            yeah true. But collectively their crimes is largely demoni. And as for Mama pieces Jonathan, can you imagine her audacity to come forth and try to claim the money. looted funds at that. How much is her salary since she started work? if any.

          • Izedomi Ohirein

            I expect people like Falana to compel the next government or Buhari to prosecute Burutai & Danbazo in very near future if nothing is done about them.
            They might be useful to Buhari now, he has set a high standards for himself he must keep.

          • Otile

            God forbid evil. What kind of perverted sense of justice is this. Corrupt minds like yours will continue to haunt Nigeria for a long time.

      • Man_Enough

        why don’t we start with Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu who led the first violent military coup in Nigeria agianst a democratically elected government, that
        led to the death of Sir Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauna of Sokoto and
        Premier of Northern Nigeria, Chief S.I. Akintola, the Premier of Western
        Region, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Prime Minister of Nigeria, Chief
        Festus Okotie-Eboh?

        • veritas

          All how about the coup plotters and participants of other coups after that? its unjust and very misleading to list the one SE led officer failed coup attempt. Until we put our tribal xenophobic sentiments in the bin, The Country Nigeria would fail.

    • veritas

      well said Facts.

    • Man_Enough

      thank you for reasonable contribution. id the lawyer saying that since corruption had been the order of the day since babangida’s time, anybody caught now should not be tried?

  • vagabonds in power

    When would the Nigerian Armed Forces put Buratai on trial-? Would Buratai be allowed to go about acting like a drunken cow in A China Shop if he were to be an Ijaw Army General in Nigeria? Again is the Nigeria ARMED FORCES supposed to allow her Officers like Buratai who are still still serving in the Army, purchase properties in a Foreign land—–with stolen money meant for the purchase of weapons?—-What is the difference between the alleged crime by the mumu Yoruba Officer and that of Buratai who stole money from the Federal Government—while serving as Director of Procurement for the army and used the proceeds to purchase houses in Dubai?———–Yes–Buratai is still stealing from the army having on his own created another Army Brigade Unit without the approval of the House or the Senate—in Bayelsa state————————Nigerian armed forces have various Units in Port Harcourt–for the Air force —Navy and army—It is less than two hours drive from PHC———-Then another in Bayelsa—————Warri——————Enugu————-Aba————Calabar——-Akwa Ibom—————–while the the depots for the manufacture of fake Military hardwares–are all based in the Fulani North———————————————————yet we are being told it is not time for us to Separate abi? Simply because of the oil wells in the SS——————abi—————? While the economies of smaller countries in Africa overtake the big ones-like Nigeria—Yet mumu 9jas still yearn to remain one with the Fulani herdsmen ruling them from Aso rock abi—————–? Separation is the answer–not the rule of the Fulanis and the Yoruba traitors—in APC—–now being put on trial by Buratai——to serve his rotten thievng face-

  • vagabonds in power

    When would the Nigerian Armed Forces put Buratai on trial-? Would Buratai be allowed to go about acting like a drunken cow in A China Shop if he were to be an Ijaw Army General in Nigeria? Again is the Nigerian ARMED FORCES supposed to allow her Officers like Buratai who are still still serving in the Army, purchase properties in a Foreign land—–with stolen money meant for the purchase of weapons?—-What is the difference between the alleged crime by the mumu Yoruba Officer and that of Buratai who stole money from the Federal Government—while serving as Director of Procurement for the army and used the proceeds to purchase houses in Dubai?———–Yes–Buratai is still stealing from the army having on his own created another Army Brigade Unit without the approval of the House or the Senate—in Bayelsa state————————Nigerian armed forces have various Units in Port Harcourt–for the Air force —Navy and army—It is less than two hours drive from PHC———-Then another in Bayelsa—————Warri——————Enugu————-Aba————Calabar——-Akwa Ibom—————–while the depots for the manufacture of fake Military hardwares–are all based in the Fulani North———————————————————Yet we are being told it is not time for us to Separate abi? Simply because of the oil wells in the SS——————abi—————?——– While the economies of smaller countries in Africa overtake the big ones-like Nigeria—Yet mumu 9jas still yearn to remain one with the Fulani herdsmen ruling them from Aso rock abi—————–? Separation is the answer–not the rule of the Fulanis and the Yoruba traitors—in APC—–now being put on trial by Buratai——to save his rotten thieving face-

    • Mgsk

      U ar simply bagarbond dude

      • veritas

        Not really. Dude has points from his point of view. i agree with a few of his points. Besides the part full with tribal insults.

      • vagabonds in power

        Bingo Fulani Buhari Spent more than N5bn on Presidential Fleet in 15 Months: Despite the biting economic recession in the country, the Federal Government has spent The sum of N5bn on the 10-aicraft Presidential Air Fleet in the last 15 months, a document obtained exclusively from the Presidency by Saturday punch has revealed.

        According to the document, the Presidency put the amount of money so far released for the Presidential Air Fleet since the inception of the current administration in May 2015 till date in the region of N5bn.

        The breakdown of the sum showed that N2.3bn was released for PAF by the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation between May and November 2015.

        That figure included releases for personnel costs, overheads and capital expenditures; out of the N5.19bn appropriated for PAF in the 2015 budget.

        Of the sum, the Presidency said N99.715m was spent on aircraft maintenance, spares and subscription services.

        The sum of N98.5m was also spent on operations; N165.373m on training and N85.5m on personnel medicals and overheads.

        During the period, the document claimed that PAF spent N1.350bn to settle outstanding liabilities carried over from 2014 while N500m was refunded to the NSA for financial support rendered for the maintenance of the Fleet prior to release of funds.

        • vagabonds in power

          Na trIbalism be this also abi-?——where is the revenue coming from—the North East where Buhari borrowed 2.1b from the World Bank to settle Boko haram fighters from Fulani part of Mali–Is the money to oil yr leaking old regional pockets not from the SS—? In their Nigeria there is no tribalism attached to the oil wells owned by the Fulanis –Yorubas and their Ibo surrogates in APC–separation is the only way out———not long childish talk–we asked a question why is Buratai not on trial—————-

      • vagabonds in power

        Another Paid Hail Hitler from the old oil less regions of the Apes in APC—-in THEIR so-called Nigeria—doing all in their rotten powers—to torment their perceived zonal slaves-in the south south-

      • Jaja Majaja

        No he is not ….you are the bagarbond.

  • ANWANKANG

    Ok

  • ANWANKANG

    So, the court has die down hes position, it should be investigated.