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HomeCrime and SecurityNigerian Army Court-Martials About 501 Personnels - Experts Express Worry

Nigerian Army Court-Martials About 501 Personnels – Experts Express Worry

A recent analysis has revealed that in the last 32 months, at least 501 Nigerian Army personnel have been court-martialled for indiscipline and other offences across the Nigeria.

This follows an analysis of media reports on such cases between November 2019 and July 1, 2022.

Based on the analysis, a good number of the personnel tried during the period under review were those serving in the terrorism-ravaged North East geopolitical zone.

Reports revealed that about 70 personnel found defaulting in the counter-insurgency operation in the North East were court-martialled in November 2019.

Similarly, a month before that, a corporal was dismissed and sentenced to five years imprisonment by a military court martial after he was found guilty of defiling a 13-year-old girl in Bama Local Government Area of Borno State.

In October 2021, 158 personnel were tried for offences bordering on alleged professional misconduct in North Eastern Nigeria, three separate court martials were inaugurated to try 227 cases. 107 cases were recommended for summary trials while 120 cases have been concluded.

Also, on June 16, 2022, a Major-General was dismissed after a court martial found him guilty of corruption.

In the same vein, seven personnel were tried by the 7th Division General Court Martial sitting in Maiduguri same region where insurgency is most prevalent in January 2021

Four soldiers were convicted for manslaughter, while another soldier was sentenced to death by firing squad for killing an officer among others.

Truthlive.net gathered that no fewer than 29 personnel are currently being tried for various offences committed during the counter-terrorism operations in Borno, Adamawa, Yobe and other states in the North East region.

Early this month, precisely on the first day of the month, six soldiers faced a court-martial for indiscipline at the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army in Enugu.

Analysing the trend, a security expert, Timothy Avele, in an interview with The PUNCH, said the number of Army personnel tried within the period under review called for concern.

According to him, “It calls for serious evaluation on the part of the President if I may suggest. This is beyond military authorities. I understand there’s a lot of grumbling among the rank and file due to various issues.

“If it’s not well handled now, it can demoralise the force, especially the frontline officers battling terrorists and deadly bandits in some parts of the country. It’s not a good sign at all. To put it mildly, the military authorities need to sit up urgently.”

Similarly, Jackson Ojo, a security expert, in another interview, disclosed that the alleged connivance of Army personnel with criminals was disturbing, called on those at at the helm of affairs of the Nigerian military to act before the situation gets out of hand.

He explained that, “There is a need for us to cleanse not just the Army but our security agencies. It is disturbing hearing news of them collaborating with criminals.

“The Army should pay more attention to this to enable us to win the war against insecurity in the country. I know apart from those who committed serious offences, there are some who were tried for complaining about fighting equipment, though against their extant rules, but we must address that issue.”

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