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Jos crisis: 3 soldiers face court martial

The Nigerian army set up a court martial to try three soldiers serving in the special task force on Jos crisis on Monday, February 15.

According to Premium Times, the accused will be tried for contravening the rules of engagements. Inaugurating the court martial at 3 Armoured Division of the Nigeria army in Rukuba, Plateau state, Tagbo Ude, the commander of the task force, Tagbo Ude, said: “The offences the accused persons are being tried ranges from manslaughter, offences related to public and service property, as well as conduct to prejudice of military discipline – all punishable under Armed Forces Act CAP A 20 Laws of Federal Republic of Nigeria 2004. “It is a well-known fact that discipline is the bedrock of the Nigerian military, hence the powers conferred on me by Section 131 Armed Forces Act to convene this General Court Martial to try the said accused persons.”

For Corruption Ude further noted that the aim of the court martial is to discipline erring personnel. Assuring the soldiers of fair hearing, the commander stressed “I must state categorically that the accused persons are presumed innocent until proved guilty by this court.” “Let me at this juncture assure all of us that justice will not only be done on this entire trial, but we will ensure that each accused person is given a fair trial.” Meanwhile, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission is investigating 12 senior army officers for their role in the $2.1billion arms deals. Colonel Sani Usman, the director of army public relations, said that the officers who were sent to the anti-graft agency would be tried by a military Court Martial, if found culpable.