Army court-martials 44 officers, soldiers over murder, negligence

The Army has constituted a General Court-Martial (GCM) to try 44 of its officers and soldiers involved in on-going operations in the North-East and other parts of the country. Specifically, the GCM, which is sitting at the Mogadishu Cantonment, Abuja, will try the officers and soldiers on offences bordering on alleged murder, manslaughter, unlawful possession of ammunition, negligent performance and other military-related breaches.

New Telegraph gathered from military sources that out of the number, 13 are officers from the rank of Second Lieutenant to that of Lieutenant Colonel, while 31 others are soldiers from the private and warrant officers’ categories. One of the sources, who spoke in confidence with New Telegraph, said a Convening Order for the GCM was signed on June 29, while the inauguration of the Court was done on August 8.

“Let me confide in you that the Nigerian Army has set up a General Court Martial at the Mogadishu Cantonment, to commence trial of 44 officers and soldiers over military offences such as murder, negligent conduct in the theatre and other offences.

“The Convening Order, which gives legal seal to the court martial, was signed by the Garrison Commander, Maj.-Gen. J.G.K Myam,” the source said. It was further gathered that Brig.-Gen. G. A. Umelo is the President of the GCM, which has since adjourned, for commencement of trial. Efforts to reach the Army spokesman, Brig.- Gen. Texas Chukwu, for comment, had not yielded result as at the time of filing this report. Meanwhile, some soldiers, who escaped heavy gun attacks by suspected Boko Haram elements, at a military location in Borno State last week, have found their ways to known locations.

Our correspondent learnt that while some appeared at Gubio town, others found their way to Damasak and Zarre, said to be a neighbouring town. “It is true that some of our gallant troops, who escaped from an ambush last week, after putting up a fierce resistance, have returned to known locations of Gubio, Zarre and Damasak. “I know that the authorities will take it from there, while we salute the exceptional gallantry of our fighting troops, who put their lives on the line every day for the country to remain safe for all of us,” the source said.

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