The Nigerian Army has pardoned and reinstated a total of 3,032 soldiers out of the 5,000 that appeared before the committee instituted by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, to review recent disciplinary cases in the army, especially of soldiers in the defunct Operation Zaman Lafiya.
Addressing the media in Abuja, yesterday, Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Col. Sani Usman, said: “The reinstated soldiers are those whose offences bothered on cases of discipline, regimentation and justice.
“The soldiers have shown their total readiness to be re-launched into the theatre of combat insurgency and have now commenced a re-training exercise at the Nigerian Army Training Centre, Kontagora, Niger State.
“It must, however, be made clear that not all dismissed soldiers were granted pardon and recalled. Those with criminal cases, for instance, have their sentences upheld.”
According to Usman, the re-training of the recalled soldiers was to re-orient and prepare them for the closing stage of the operational aspect of the counter-insurgency operations with more weapons and new leadership.
On the fate of scores of soldiers condemned to death by the various military court martial during trials, the Army spokesman said: “You will recall that many of those condemned to death went on appeal with their lawyers. Those cases are still in the judicial domain, so we cannot comment on that.”
Vanguard reports that the review committee which sat in Kaduna for a period of 10 days was headed by the GOC 1 Division, Kaduna, Major-General Adeniyi Oyebade while the Directorate of Army Legal Services headed by Brig-Gen. Shalangwa provided military experts and materials that assisted the committee meet the time scheduled for it to carry out the assignment.