The Acting General Officer Commanding 7 Division Nigerian Army Brigadier General Victor Ezugwu, on Wednesday inaugurated a General Court Martial at the Theatre Command Media Centre Maiduguri to try a total of 4 officers and 16 other ranks of the Nigerian Army who have committed various offences within the Theatre of Operation LAFIYA DOLE.
According to the Acting GOC, “one of the aims of a Court Martial is to achieve timely and quick dispensation of justice within the framework provided in relevant statute books”.
He therefore stressed the need for both the Prosecution and the Accused Persons or their counsels to be “mindful of this fact and strive to shun all forms of antics such as request for frivolous adjournments which could lead to unnecessary delays in the trial processes. It is often said in the legal parlance that, justice delayed is justice denied”.
“For the President and Members of the GCM, I enjoin you to dispense this all important assignment in accordance with the appropriate extant laws and ensure that your opinions and decision on all the cases brought before you are not in any way beclouded with bias, external pressure or by extraneous factors. The outcome of this GCM must therefore be based on careful appreciation of the whole facts of each case and evidence placed before you in the course of trial of these accused persons”.
“Finally, you are to please ensure that the judgement you pass on the accused person will stand the test of appellate court, public opinion and above all, that of the Almighty Creator.
“For the accused, be assured that you are all presumed innocent until this honourable court finds otherwise. I want to further sate that your rights to fair hearing and other fundamental human rights would be adhered to throughout this trial.
“The Nigerian Army through this action want to assure the nation and international community that we shall not condone cases of violation of laws of armed conflict in the discharge of our constitutional responsibilities”.
Is this not the same army that rewarded indiscipline? The same army that freed convicted soldiers? On the guise that they were convicted by a rogue regime? What has changed?
It is unfortunate that the military has been over politicised