Court summons Army Chief over dismissal of officer

Ojo Giwa

The army officer says his dismissal did not follow due process.

 

A Federal High Court sitting in Akure, Ondo State, has ordered the Chief of Army Staff, Azubuike Ihejerika, to appear before it over the alleged dismissal of one of its officers, Emmanuel Ojo- Giwa.

Mr. Ojo- Giwa, through his lawyer, Yemi Adetoyinbo, had on April 25 approached the court to seek redress over his client’s unceremonious dismissal.

Mr. Adetoyinbo prayed the court to reinstate his client, saying his dismissal did not follow due process.

The dismissed officer also prayed the court to order the Nigeria Army to pay all salaries and allowances accrued to him from the time he was dismissed till date.

Joined as co-defendants in the suit were the Army in Council, and Nigeria Army Director in charge of Administration, Lagos, B.G.A. Mohammed.

At the resumed hearing of the case, the counsel to the dismissed soldier, Mr. Adetoyinbo, informed the court that a Motion of Notice and Writ of Summon had already been sent to the Nigerian Army in Council by the Chief bailiff.

He told the court that he and his client, Mr. Ojo- Giwa, had appeared before the court more than 20 times before Justice Stella Okeke  who retired early this year.

He said Ms. Okeke had fixed the date for hearing of the motion of  notice for May 24, 2012 before she retired.

But, the new judge, Momoh  Sanni, advised that he would rather listen to the other parties to defend themselves before the court.

According to Mr. Sanni, the development will amount to Jungle Justice and directed that the order of Hearing of Notice be served to Chief of Army Staff.

He ruled that if the army chief fails to appear before court in the next sitting , the court would proceed and listen to the lawyer’s argument and continue with case.

He adjourned the case till November 27.

Mr. Ojo-Giwa, who was serving at the Ordinance Headquarters, Abati Barracks, Ojuelegba, Lagos, was dismissed from the Nigerian Army on January 28, 2010 for allegedly using the battery of a generating set in a retired General’s residence located at NO 19, Ikoyi Crescent to start his vehicle which had already broken down.

He was one of the few soldiers manning the gate of the residence of Y.M Yaduma, a retired Major General, before he was summarily dismissed from service.

He was subsequently punished by the authority of the Nigerian Army which later set up a board of inquiry to look into the matter.

Before the panel of inquiry started its sitting, Mr. Ojo-Giwa who was about to be promoted to the rank of corporal, was denied the promotion as part of the punishment for the offence he committed. He was later dismissed from the Nigerian Army.


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