203 soldiers have been dismissed by the Nigerian Army after a secret court martial reportedly at night.
The soldiers were dismissed for allegedly disobeying a direct order from their commanding officer.
One of the sacked soldiers, who spoke on condition of anonymity, according to online news platform, Premium Times, said the soldiers were dismissed for asking for support equipment, with plans said to be on, to send the soldiers in a tipper, for an operation in Bama and Gwoza. They were also issued 30 rounds of bullets, as against the usual 60 rounds. Judging from past experience in their battle against Boko Haram in Nigeria’s northeast.
The source explained that their new Commanding Officer, Mohammed A, who replaced the former one killed recently in an operation to dislodge terrorist group, Boko Haram, ordered them to submit their weapons and uniforms or be charged with mutiny.
“On the morning of 16 of August, after the GOC briefing, our commander started calling our names and he said anyone whose name is called should submit his uniform and weapon. He added that anyone who failed to do that would be charged for mutiny. We were surprised at what was happening.
“He started from the most senior soldier among us, a warrant officer who had served for almost 30 years. They asked us to go back to the barrack. It is a war zone and our weapons had been taken from us. Staying around was of no use, so we left Maiduguri and went back home,” Premium Times quoted the soldier as saying.
He further told the news platform that the soldiers, who were owed up to five months salary, were detained for more than 90 days before dismissing them after a mid-night trial.