The Nigerian Army has court–martialled 18 soldiers involved in an alleged mutiny in May, in which revolting troops opened fire at a car carrying the general officer commanding the army’s 7 Division in Maiduguri, Borno State.
Military sources said the General Officer Commanding (GOC), of the newly-created 7 Division, Major General, Ahmadu Mohammed, was targeted by soldiers who blamed him for the deaths of their colleagues.
The attack in Maimalari Cantonment, on May 14, humiliated the Nigerian military at a time the force came under international spotlight over the abduction of nearly 300 school girls in Chibok by the extremist Boko Haram sect.
Official said at the time that the rebellious soldiers were infuriated over the ambushing and killing of their colleagues by Boko Haram – an attack the soldiers blamed their superiors for.
Details of the charge sheet indicate that the soldiers have been charged for attempted murder and mutiny.
The internal memo, signed by the Commander, Army Headquarter Garrison, Brigadier-General B.T. Ndiomu, ordered the constitution of a General Court Martial, to be presided by Brigadier General C.C. Okonkwo.
Ndiomu, also ordered that the court martial be assembled at the garrison’s conference hall on June 26.
The military court is made up of seven members, two waiting members, a judge advocate and two prosecuting officers.
Others members include: a liaison officer, a contact officer, two officers authorized to sign any amendment convening officer and eight other soldiers who form a court secretariat.
The army accused the soldiers of attempting to kill the GOC, Major General Mohammed.
The soldiers had blamed the general for the deaths of their colleagues killed in an ambush near Chibok.
Sources had told newsmen that the soldiers were ambushed while on a special operation in Kalabalge Local Government Area where locals had killed about 150 insurgents and arrested 10 others.
After the operation, during which some military equipment were recovered from the insurgents, the soldiers, who arrived the operation location at night, were asked to return to Maiduguri.
The soldiers reportedly pleaded to be allowed to return to Maiduguri the next morning, as the night trip would be too risky.
Their request was allegedly turned down and the troop had to drive to Maiduguri at night.
“Those commanding the troop declined their request to pass the night in one of the villages on the grounds that the top ranks at the headquarters of the 7 Division would not be pleased if they don’t go back to Maiduguri that night,” said a ranking soldier, who sought anonymity.
The 7 Division, recently formed, is located in Maiduguri, the capital of the troubled Borno State.
But halfway through their journey, they ran into a Boko Haram ambush and 12 of them got killed while some others were injured, sources said.
The military later claimed that only four soldiers died in the ambush, before it increased the figure to six.
The survivors, in what seemed a vengeance mission, launched an attack on their commander, Mohammed, when they eventually arrived in Maiduguri.
Mohammed, was immediately redeployed to another command which the military did not reveal.
In its version of the attack on the GOC, the military claimed the soldiers did not shoot at their commander, but merely fired into the air.
“The fact of the matter is that troops on patrol around Chibok were ambushed by insurgents yesterday. Troops engaged the insurgents in a fierce combat and extricated themselves from the ambush killing several insurgents.
“Four soldiers however lost their lives during the ambush.
“On evacuation of the remains of the fallen troops, the General Officer Commanding addressed the troops who registered their anger about the incident by firing into the air,” the military spokesperson, Chris Olukolade, a Major General, had said in a statement.
But in the charge sheet signed by Ndiomu, the army said the soldiers’ bullet only missed General Mohammed by a hair’s breadth, as at least one bullet struck the rear right door of his Sports Utility Vehicle, where the general sat.
“In that you on or about 14 May 14 at7 DMSH Maimalari Cantonment in Maiduguri without justification attempted to kill Maj. Gen. A Mohammed (N/7915), the GOC 7 div (as he then was) by firing shots on his official vehicle (Command Jeep) which hit the right door where he sat,” the charge reads.
After the attack in Maiduguri, the Nigerian Army arrested the soldiers and instituted a military board of inquiry into the circumstances surrounding their conduct.
The army charged 11 of the 18 soldiers with criminal conspiracy to commit mutiny among others.
The soldiers face a six-count charge of committing mutiny, criminal conspiracy to commit mutiny, attempted murder, disobedience to particular orders, insubordinate behaviour contrary to and punishable under the law, and false accusation.
The charge sheet read that the soldiers inspired other military personnel of the 101 battalion to commit mutiny and also accused Lieutenant-Colonel E. Azenda, who is the Second in Command of the 101 battalion, of conspiring with other officers to kill the soldiers.
One of the charges read “that you between 13 and 14 May, 2014 at Maimalari Cantonment in Maiduguri fired sporadically with the intent to incite other personnel of 101 battalion against the authority of 7 Division.”
Punishment for the offences under the Armed Forces Act include; death, imprisonment, dismissal with ignominy from the Armed Forces, a fine of a sum not exceeding the equivalent of three months’ pay among others.
The accused soldiers are entitled to a defence counsel of their choice. However, the convening officer must be informed of the defence counsel 24 hours before trial commences.
The convening officer is also expected to appoint a counsel if the accused persons fail to secure one.
The president of the GCM is expected to submit six bound copies of the proceedings of each case to Ndiomu not later than six weeks after the end of the trial.
List of all charges
Statement of Offence: Criminal conspiracy to commit mutiny triable by court martial by virtue of Section 114 of AFA and punishable under Section 97(1) of the penal code CAP P89, laws of the Federation of Nigeria.
Particulars of offence: In that you on or about 14 May 14 at Maimalari Cantonment in Maiduguri conspired to incite other personnel of 101 Battalion to commit mutiny.
Statement of Offence: Mutiny punishable under Section 52(1) (b) of AFA CAP A20, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
Particulars of Offence: In that you between 13 and 14 May 14 at Maimalari Cantonment in Maiduguri fired sporadically with intent to incite other personnel of 101 Battalion against the authority of 7 Div.
Statement of offence: Attempt to commit offences (murder) contrary to Section 95 and punishable under Section 106 of AFA CAP A20, laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
Particulars of Offence: In that you on or about 14 May 14, at 7 DMSH Maimalari Cantonment in Maiduguri without justification attempted to kill Maj. Gen. A Mohammed (N/7915), the GOC 7 div (as he then was) by firing shots on his official vehicle (Command Jeep) which hit the right door where he sat.
Statement of offence: Disobedience to particular orders punishable under Section 56(1) of AFA CAP A20, laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
Particulars of Offence: In that you on or about 14 May 14 at Maimalari Cantonment in Maiduguri wilfully disobeyed an order by LT Col E Azenda (N/10517), 2i/c 101 Battalion to allow the corpses of 101 Battalion personnel killed in action on 13 May 14 to be moved to UMTH mortuary by preventing the movement insisting on the arrival of the GOC before such movement could take place.
Statement of Offence: Insubordinate behaviour contrary to and punishable under Section 54 (1) (b) of AFA CAP A20, laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
Particulars of Offence: In that you on or about 14 May 14 at Maimalari Cantonment in Maiduguri uttered abusive language “that officers are cowards” with threat to shoot the officers if they did not leave the premises.
Names of the accused soldiers, their ranks and service numbers:
96NA/ 42/6235 Cpl Jasper Braidolor
96NA/ 43/ 10277 Cpl David Musa
05NA/ 57/ 3451 LCpl Friday Onun
09NA/ 64/ 4905 LCpl Yusuf Shuaibu
09NA/ 62/ 1648 LCpl Igono Emmanuel
09NA/ 64/ 4214 Pte Andrew Ngbede
10NA/ 65/ 8344 Pte Nurudeen Ahmed
10NA/ 65/ 7084 Pte Ifeanyi Alukhagbe
13NA/ 69/ 2898 Pte Alao Samuel
13NA/ 69/ 2907 Pte Amadi Chukwudi
13NA/ 69/ 2898 Pte Allan Linus
93NA/ 36/ 1542 Cpl David Luhbut
97NA/ 45/ 7423 Cpl Muhammed Sani
03NA/ 53/ 816 Lcpl Stephen Clement
09NA/ 62/ 1648 Inama Samuel
09NA/ 64/ 5858 Iseh Ubong
10NA/ 65/ 6912 Ichocho Jeremiah
10NA/ 65/ 7343 Sabastine Gwaba.
IPPIS: FG, ASUU Meet, Today, As Fresh Strike Looms
Delegations from the Federal Government and Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) are expected to meet, today, in a bid to avert a fresh strike.
The chairmen of ASUU branches had expressed readiness to commence a fresh strike over the non-implementation of their agreement with FG on IPPIS.
One of them, Chairman, ASUU, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, Dr Ibrahim Inuwa, said the protracted strike, which was to press home the union members’ demands for the continued survival of the public university system in Nigeria, was suspended in December after the two parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the various issues and providing timelines for the implementation of each of the eight items in the agreement.
Inuwa said over seven months after the MoU was signed only two out of the eight issues had been addressed.
He listed some of the outstanding issues to include payment of the earned academic allowance, funding for revitalisation of public universities, salary shortfall, proliferation of state universities and setting up of visitation panels.
Others are renegotiation, replacement of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) with the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) and withheld salaries and non-remittance of check-off dues.
A statement by the Deputy Director, Press and Public Relations at the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Mr. Charles Akpan, said the Minister of Labour, Senator Chris Ngige, will be hosting the leadership of the ASUU to a meeting at the ministry’s Conference Room, Federal Secretariat in Abuja.
“The Minister for Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, will be hosting a meeting with ASUU. The meeting is scheduled for Monday, August 2, 2021 at Minister’s Conference Room,” the letter read.
The National President, ASUU, Prof Emmanuel Osodeke, had said that the union was invited by the Ministry of Labour to discuss issues surrounding the Memorandum of Action, which was signed with the Federal Government in December, 2020.
However, Osodeke, explained the last time the union met with the government was around March/April.
He said, “The Ministry of Education, which is our ministry, has not called us to any meeting since we signed the Memorandum of Action. But the Ministry of Labour, which is just an intervention ministry, around March/April called us to a meeting in which we discussed and they promised to implement all those things.”
30 Of 65 Private Jets In Nigeria Owe Duties, Customs Insists
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) says 30 out of 65 private airplanes verified owe duties to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
The Public Relations Officer, Joseph Attah, made the disclosure to newsmen, yesterday.
He said some of the airplanes came into the country by Temporary Importation Agreement which allows them in without payment because it was secured by bond.
The spokesman noted that many later fail to turn up to pay on the expiration of the agreement.
The customs explained that the verification was not meant to embarrass anyone but to collect payments due to the government.
The service has given another two-week extension which commenced from Monday, July 26, to Friday, August 6.
Attah said with the increasing economic challenge, every revenue is important.
“With this, you can now tie proper ownership to every aircraft or private jet that flies in and out of the country.
“The owners of private jets are highly placed Nigerians who should be respected and approached in a manner that provides convenience. That is what these extensions stand for,” he added.
FBI Indictment: PSC, IGP Suspend Kyari, Name Inquiry Panel
The Police Service Commission (PSC) has suspended embattled Deputy Commissioner of Police and Head, Intelligence Response Team (IRT) of the Nigeria Police Force, Abba Kyari, from the exercise of the powers and functions of his office.
Kyari’s suspension was contained in a press statement by the commission’s Head, Press and Public Relations, Ikechukwu Ani, made available to newsmen, yesterday.
The commission said Abba Kyari’s suspension took effect from Saturday, July 31, 2021, and would subsist pending the outcome of the investigation in respect of his indictment by the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States.
The commission has also directed the Inspector General of Police to furnish it with information on further development on the matter for necessary further action.
The commission’s decision which was conveyed in a letter with reference, PSC/POL/D/153/vol/V/138 to the Inspector General of Police today, Sunday, August 1st, 2021, was signed by Hon. Justice Clara Bata Ogunbiyi, a retired Justice of the Supreme Court and Honourable Commissioner 1 in the commission for the commission’s Chairman, Alhaji Musiliu Smith, a retired Inspector General of Police who is currently on leave.
Earlier, the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, had recommended the immediate suspension of DCP Abba Kyari from the service of the Nigeria Police Force, pending the report of the four-man investigative panel constituted to probe him.
A statement by the spokesperson of the Force, CP Frank MBA, last Saturday, the IGP, in his letter to the Police Service Commission (PSC), dated July 31, 2021, noted that the recommendation is in line with the internal disciplinary processes of the force.
According to the IGP, the suspension would also create an enabling environment for the NPF Special Investigation Panel, to carry out its investigations into the allegations against Kyari without interference.
He explained that the suspension is without prejudice to the constitutional presumption of innocence in favour of the officer, the statement said.
The four-man Special Investigation Panel (SIP), is headed by the Deputy Inspector General of Police in-charge of the Force Criminal Investigations Department (FCID), DIG Joseph Egbunike.
“The SIP is to undertake a detailed review of all the allegations against DCP Abba Kyari by the US Government as contained in relevant documents that have been availed the NPF by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
“The SIP is also to obtain detailed representation of DCP Abba Kyari to all the allegations levelled against him, conduct further investigations as it deems fit, and submit recommendations to guide further actions by the Force leadership on the matter,” Mba said.
Meanwhile, the IGP has reaffirmed the commitment of the force to the rule of law, and assured the public of the sanctity of the probe as well as the absolute respect for the rights and privileges of the officer throughout the period of the investigations.
- Sports4 days ago
Amuneke To Train Coaches In Three Nigerian Cities
- Sports4 days ago
WAFU B Qualifier: Angels Thrash AS Police 5-0, Book Semi’s Ticket
- Editorial4 days ago
Fix Eleme–Onne Road, Now
- Business4 days ago
AKK Project Will Enhance Gas Utilisation For Industrialisation – Buhari
- Business4 days ago
CBN Releases N756bn To Over 3m Farmers To Boost Food Security
- Sports4 days ago
NPFL/Aiteo Cups: Our Focus Is On Both Competitions- Eguma
- Business4 days ago
NESG Unveils 27th Economic Summit Theme …Calls For Urgent Measures On Nigeria’s Future
- Sports4 days ago
NFF Blames Covid-19 For Salary Delay