97 Soldiers, Officers Face Court-martial

The Nigerian Army is doing its best to instil discipline, as 97 soldiers, including four Lieutenant Colonels, a Major and four captains were, yesterday, charged before a Military Court, with offences ranging from mutiny, conduct prejudicial to good orders, assault and Absence Without Leave, AWOL, to house breaking, contrary to service discipline.

The hearing comes just weeks after a tribunal sentenced 12 soldiers to death following their conviction for shooting at their commanding officer in the Borno state capital, Maiduguri

They will be arraigned before the General Court Martial (GCM), convened on behalf of the Army authorities by the Commander, Army Headquarters Garrison, Brigadier General B.T Ndiomu on October 15.

Human rights Lawyer, Femi Falana, SAN, will lead a team of defense lawyers including Major Oyebanji (rtd), Mr. Shuaibu Isa, Mr. J.O.K. Irikefe, Mr. Paul Ocheme, Mr. Mike Ebogu and Colonel Godwin Anyalemechi.

The military gave the names of the Prosecuting Officers as Capt. J.A. Orumor, Capt. R.S. Agwai, Capt. J.E. Nwosu, Capt. W.F. David, Capt. P.N. Nwachi, Capt. V.L. Williams, Lieutenant A.M. Sani, Lieutenant N. Okorie and Lance Corporal Chukwu Prince-Augustine.

Also, the waiting members are Col. Abubakar T. Ibrahim, Lt. Col. Victor Olatude Olatunji while Lt. Col. Ukpe Ukpe will serve as the Judge Advocate.

Speaking shortly after inaugurating the GCM, the Army assured the accused soldiers, their counsel and the nation that the court will be guided throughout the trial by the principles of fair hearing and justice.

“You shall be given the facilities and conditions necessary for the proper defence of your cases. In line with the provisions of section 35 (5) of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), every one of you shall be presumed innocent by the court until it is proved otherwise.

“Let me further assure you that the GCM will base its decisions and findings only on the facts presented before it. In other words, this court will not give room for or be influenced by any extraneous matter which is not presented before this court.

“We intend to patiently and painstakingly listen to all evidence that will be brought before this court to ensure that no innocent person is convicted as it is better for nine guilty persons to go free than for one innocent person to suffer,” the GCM President added.

Speaking after the GCM had been convened, Falana said: “I have no cause to doubt the integrity of the members of the court. I have taken part in a number of courts of this nature and even where we lost, we had gone on appeal and we succeeded. So there is no cause for alarm. I think the President of the court has assured the accused persons that justice will be done.

“We have not been appropriately charged, we don’t have the charge sheet, we don’t have the convening order, we don’t have the summary of evidence of those who are coming to give evidence against our clients and the law says that all accused persons are entitled to the full materials for their defence.

“The court has also made a point that all necessary documents would be made available to counsel for the accused persons so that trial can commence in earnest. As far as the defence is concerned we will try as much as possible to ensure that we get justice for our clients. This is not an abnormal court. It is part of the courts created by the constitution. Under military dictatorship, everything would have been shrouded in secrecy with the press invited only during judgment.

“Where we were not comfortable, we have raised our concern and the court has given the appropriate order,” he said.

The accused persons, according to Vanguard include:

1. Lt Col Ss Tilawan
2..lt Col Db Danzang
3.lt Col Ic Ogamanya
4.lt Col Su Abubakar
5. Maj Ii Sakaba
6. Capt 1\1 Hamadikko
7.capt Z Alhaji
8 Capt Mb Abdullahi
9. Capt Sy Musa
10. Lt T Garba
11. Lt F Ogunleke
12.Lt a Abdullahi
13.Lt Im Okoro
14. Lt D Wunuji
15. 2lt Jm Uweh
16.Wo Benedict Okoye
17. Sgt Oladipo
18.Cpl Mustapha Bandado
19.cpl Andrew Ogolekwu
20. Cpi Saturday Efa
21.Cpl Usman Mohammed
22. Lcpl Henry Shaibu
23. Lcpl James
24. Cpl Daniel Joshua
25. Lcpl Ndubisi Sebastine
26.Lcpl Dauda Dalha Tu
27. Lcpl Aliyu Ahmed
28. Lcpl Kasega Aoso
29. Lcpl Bankole Taiwo
30.lcpl Ochehepo Sule
31.lcpl Ayodele Ola Wole
32.lcpl Isaiah Olofu
33.lcpi Ibrahim Yahana
34.lcpl Mallam Jacob
3s.lcpl Nwonu Friday
36.lcpl Yusuf Habu
37.pte Chindo Julius
38.lcpl Joshua Friday
39.lcpl Gbenga Adeba Yo
40.lcpl Ali Abdullahi
41.lcpl Abubakar Ibrahim
42.lcpl Anthony Simeon
43.lcpj Ngene Douglas
44.pte Olayode Oluwasegun
45.pte Jimba Ahmed
46.lcpl Ibrahim Yohana
47.pte Tijjani Jimoh
48.pte Kabiru Abubakar
49.pte Mamuda Sywasan
50.pte James Emmanuel
51.pte Mukaila Musa
57.pte Ahunanya Temple
53.pte Eyakise Uwah
54.pte Ilesanmi Seun
55.pte Ishiaku Solomon
55. Pte Audu Daniel
56.Pte Boaz Lucky
57.Pte Mohammed Abubakar
58.pte Anas a Walu
59.pte Babangida Jamilu
60.pte Nasiru Zubairu
61.pte Shehu Sa’adu
62.pte Mohammed Suleiman
64.pte Hashimu Ibrahim
65.tpr Nnanna Promise
66.Pte Magaji Ahmadu
67.Pte Amao Bukola
68.Pte Wuyep John
69.Pte Oti Kelvin
70.Pte Ameh Mathew
71.Pte Olaitan Joseph
72.Pte Kulukulu Endurance
73.Pte Usman Isaac
74.Pte Ocheje Williams
75.Pte Adila Dangana
76.Pte Sudan Hannania
77.Pte Sunday Godwin
78.Pte Datti Hassan
79.Pte Abubakar Garba
80.pte Joseph Dauda
81.Pte Chiemela Azubulke
82.Pte Abubakar Mohammed
83.Pte Anagu Mark
84.Pte Danbaba Francis
85.Pte Oton Asuabiat
86Pte Nwachukwu Udo
87.Pte Ibrahim Saliu
88.Pte Abafe Syl Vester
89.Pte Eze Isaac
90.Pte Abubakar Mohammed
91.Pte Samuel Michael
92.Pte Ishaya Musa
93.Pte Ogai Douglas
94.Pte Etim Peter
95.Pte Hermas Okpe
96.Tpr Oyedokun Halimat
97. Pte Nafiu Umar

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