Falana wants review of Brigadier-General’s conviction by military court

Photo Credit: emn-news.com

A human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, has called for a review of the case of Brigadier-General Enitan Ransome-Kuti convicted by a Special Court Martial in October.

In a letter to the Defence Minister, Mr. Falana said Mr. Ransome-Kuti’s conviction and sentence were fundamentally wrong, unjust, and illogical.

Mr. Ransome-Kuti, 51, faced a Special Court Martial over a three count charge of cowardly behaviour, failure to perform military duties, and miscellaneous offences relating to military property.

The first count – of cowardly behaviour – was later struck out by the military court, but Mr. Ransome-Kuti was found guilty of the other two counts: earning him a dismissal from the army and six months imprisonment.

“The discharge and acquittal of our client on the charge of cowardly behaviour, which was the tripod on which the charge of failure to perform military duty and miscellaneous offences relating to property rested, ought to have brought the whole trial to an end,” Mr. Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, said in the letter dated December 7.

“This is because it was the dislodgement of MNJTF from Baga that brought the two charges of failure to perform military duty and miscellaneous offences relating to property to life.

“It is therefore our contention that the court having ruled that the withdrawal from Baga was legally justified, ought to have discharged and acquitted our client on the remaining charges as well.

“The obvious fact is that if troops had not withdrawn from Baga, no service properties would have been abandoned and the allegation of failure to perform military duty by failing to coordinate troops and assets of HQ MNJTF to repel the Boko Haram terrorists attack on HQ MNJTF would not have arisen.”

After his initial arraignment before an eight-member General Court Martial (GCM) on May 4, Mr. Ransome-Kuti and other officers were tried by a Special Court Martial (SCM).

The members of the Special Court Martial, led by Major General O.E Ekanem, included Major General E.O Nze, Major General L.C Ilo, and Major General E.C.N Obi.

Mr. Falana said he had requested that members of the court disqualify themselves from hearing the case due to likelihood of bias, and that a new court comprising of officers from the Nigerian Air Force and Nigerian Navy be appointed.

“Our request was refused as the GCM members refused to disqualify themselves,” Mr. Falana said.

“As if that was not enough, the conversion of the GCM to Special Court Martial was carried out without any legal basis.”

Mr. Ransome-Kuti was charged alongside Colonel O.C Ajunwa, his chief of staff; Lieutenant-Colonel G.A Suru, MNJTF Garrison Commander; Lieutenant-Colonel Haruna, Commanding Officer of 134 Battalion; and Major Aliyu, Commanding Officer of 174 Battalion.

Mr. Ransome-Kuti was the only one convicted.

Mr. Falana accused the administration of former president Goodluck Jonathan of deliberately failing to provide the Nigerian troops with adequate and commensurate weapons to fight the insurgents.

He also noted that while his client was convicted, his co-defendants who were Commanding Officers were discharged and acquitted.

“Consequently, we respectfully request for a dispassionate review of this case and urge you to set aside the finding and sentence of the SCM against Brig Gen EA Ransome-Kuti aside in the interest of justice,” said Mr. Falana.

“This is most desirable because the prosecution did not prove that it was the responsibility of our client to personally coordinate troops and assets of HQ MNJTF to repel the Boko Haram insurgents attack on HQ MNJTF in view of the fact that the troops and assets were under the command of their respective commanding officers.

“Of interest is the fact that our client who had no direct control of the troops and assets was found guilty while his subordinate officers such as the Commanding Officer 134 Battalion, Commanding Officer 174 Battalion, and Garrison Commander MNJTF Garrison who had direct control of the troops and assets were freed.”


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  • eclub

    The Igbo guy is being released, now try again to release the Yoruba guy; don’t let Buhari imprison all our southern people by dividing us.

    Falana, that’s the way it should be. The Yoruba should work with the Igbos, and soon the Middle Belt, the Hausas, the North East, the Shiites… the south south, all should work together to free Nigeria from this omen. Good luck with your guy.

    • Arogbo

      The Igbos are very difficult people to work with because it’s their way, or no way. General Ransome Kuti should be released immediately period. Why should he be a scape goat for a botched war?

      • eclub

        If at first you fail, try, try again.

    • Otile

      Free all our people whether Igbo or Yoruba from the clutches of Fulani evil now. I hate when our Yoruba brothers kowtow to the evil inclinations of their Fulani masters. For what, these are well educated people, why should they stoop down to the beasts in human skins? Down with intimidation, down with Islamic terrorism, down with Islamic domination.

    • Iskacountryman

      so the yaribas should not be held accountable for cowardice…na who send am go join sodja?

      • Arogbo

        No be your papa send am. No be palm wine tapper whey your papa be. Onye gburu shin like you dey talk!

        • Iskacountryman

          monkey head…so im papa na rich man…why im go join army?

  • amazing2012

    Because he is YORUBA or money has exchange hand !

    • Otile

      You are wicked. What is the kangaroo court convicting him for? I am glad Gen Kuti is alive today instead of losing his life chasing Islamic animals in Sambisa forest. A three count charge of cowardly behaviour… my foot.

      • amazing2012

        Cursed English slave:
        The kangaroo you are talking about was constituted by a satanic Christian government Badluck Jonalost, the same government you refer to as “Jesus system” during campaign.
        Now it is the government you refer to Muslim that may possibly grant him justice.! When released, the government you hate will take the credit.
        I am sure when you are blind when you are making above statement.
        It happens to you as confirmation of curse!!

  • Mephistoheles

    This is not civil law.

    • Otile

      Down with your damned sharia. Free all our people from the clutches of Fulani evil now.

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  • Worried Mother

    Any Military man convicted of any offence with regards to the fight against boko haram must be release with immediate effect. We have been witnessing over the last couple of days how the Nigerian army was starved of weapons, care and morale to fight off boko haram because of greed and the lack of fear of God by the Jonathan Cabal. President Buhari please intervene in this matter. It is the right thing to do.

  • Iskacountryman

    it is the court of appeal that you should approach…but if you want to beg…go ahead…

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