The Nigerian military denied, Tuesday, a news report that 10 generals were being court-martialled for supplying arms and leaking operational secrets to the extremist sect, Boko Haram.
The military said the report by Leadership newspaper, a Nigerian daily, that the military had tried and convicted 15 senior officers-including 10 generals- for aiding Boko Haram, was “unfortunate” as no general was “under any form of trial”.
“It is bad enough for any Army to try and convict a single general for such a grievous offence as alleged in the reports talk less of ten generals,” military spokesperson, Chris Olukolade, said in a statement.
Quoting military sources, Leadership had reported that nearly a dozen army generals and soldiers on lower ranks had been brought to trial for sabotaging the Nigerian government’s onslaught against Boko Haram.
The paper said many generals have been slated for retirement and court-martial, for leaking troops’ movement to the insurgents, and collaborating with politicians to sabotage the government.
Coming amid widespread concerns about sabotage in the Nigerian military in its fight against Boko Haram, the Leadership report drew extensive referencing in the international media Tuesday.
But the military said it bore no truth.
“This falsehood had previously been refuted when it first reared its head but those concocting it appear hell bent on misleading Nigerians and the international community to give credence to the negative impression they are so keen to propagate about the Nigerian military,” Mr. Olukolade said.
Separately, military officials told PREMIUM TIMES that while “routine” court-martial had happened recently, no general was involved amongst those charged for any reason.
The officials said among soldiers facing trial, the highest rank was a Lieutenant Colonel.
Still, they said the process, currently holding in Kaduna, had little to do with Boko Haram and include usual offences such as “acts of misdemeanour, failure to perform military duties, and cowardice”.
The defence spokesperson, Mr. Olukolade, said ongoing “disciplinary process” will be made public when necessary.
“After all, court martial issues in the Nigerian Army are not known to be secret undertakings as it is on record that previous proceedings and outcome have been made public in the past,” he said.
“Disciplinary processes being undertaken in any formation of the Nigerian Army are at best routine and definitely not at the level that has been so willfully exaggerated for clearly sinister motives.”