The Nigerian Army Council has quashed the conviction of Brig. – Gen. Enitan Ransome-Kuti by a Special Court Martial and ordered his release from custody.
Mr. Ransome-Kuti was arrested in January 2015 and tried by a special court martial for cowardice, while serving as Commander of a Joint Multinational Task Force in Baga.
A statement by Aliyu Yusuf, spokesperson of the Army Headquarters Garrison, said the council confirmed the decision of the court martial but decided to review the punishment.
Mr. Yusuf said the council commuted Mr. Ransome-Kuti’s dismissal from the Nigerian Army to demotion, from the rank of a Brigadier-General to the rank of Colonel.
He said the decision on the senior officer’s fate was taken at the last meeting of the Nigerian Army Council.
He said the Army Council quashed his conviction and award of six months imprisonment by the court martial to not guilty, discharged and acquitted.
Mr. Yusuf added that the senior officer had been released from close custody, following the decision of the council.
Mr. Ransome-Kuti was sentenced by a Special Court Martial on October 15, 2015, for alleged offences during the war against Boko Haram.
After his conviction and imprisonment, his lawyer, Femi Falana, demanded Mr. Ransome-Kuti’s release pending the determination of his appeal, a request that was turned down by the military authorities.
On Monday, Mr. Falana petitioned the Army authorities demanding his freedom, saying his client was still held in prison custody despite completing his jail term.
He insisted Mr. Ransome-Kuti was “unjustly convicted” by the court martial.
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