Nigerian Army to court-martial General, other top officers

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The gale of court-martialling sweeping through the Nigerian army as it struggles to rev up its war against Boko Haram extremists, seems to have reached the officers’ cadre as a brigadier-general and 14 other top officers are billed to face a military tribunal today, PREMIUM TIMES has learnt.

Senior military sources, who asked not to be named, told PREMIUM TIMES that the trial of the officers would be held at the Ikeja Military Cantonment, Lagos.

It is not clear what the officers are being charged for as they are yet to be formally arraigned but our sources say it might be related to negligence in the army’s campaign against the terrorist group Boko Haram in the North East of the country.

The court-martial of these top officers marks a shift from recent trials in the military that have primarily involved non-commissioned officers.

Last Wednesday, 54 soldiers from the 111 Special Forces battalion attached to the 7 division of the army were found guilty of mutiny and sentenced to death by firing squad.

The soldiers were accused of disobeying a direct order from their superior officers to take part in an operation to dislodge Boko haram fighters from Delwa, Bulabulin and Damboa in Borno State and recapture the towns from the terrorists.

The soldiers said they refused to take part in the operation because the army did not provide them with the required combat and support equipment need for such operations.

Also, in September, 12 soldiers were sentenced to death by firing squad for shooting at a car conveying their commanding officer, Maj-Gen. Ahmed Mohammed.

They were found guilty of inciting mutiny against the GOC at the army’s 7 Division, Maimalari Barracks in Maiduguri, on May 14.

They were also sentenced to life in jail for criminal conspiracy and attempt to commit murder.

The soldiers revolted after some of their colleagues were ambushed and killed by Boko Haram extremists, an attack they blamed on their superior officer.

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