Thursday, January 1, 2015

Discipline and esprit restored in Nigeria, Army says

Nigerian Army Headquarters has announced that recent courts-martial are lawful and have had the desired effect, according to this optimistic account in the Daily Post:
The ongoing trial and convictions by a General Court Martial of soldiers and officers of the Nigerian Army for mutiny and other offences have instilled discipline and professionalism in the Armed Forces.
Army spokesman, Brig. Gen. Olajide Laleye, who stated this during a press briefing at the Army Headquarters on Wednesday said, “I wish to bring to your attention that the strict enforcement of service regulations and laws by the Army is paying off. Troops are now better attuned to the reality of our national security emergency.
“Cases of unprofessional conducts have been significantly reduced. The Army notes with satisfaction that troops’ fighting spirit, courage, determination and patriotism have been rekindled.”
The Army spokesman confirmed that a number of officers and men were still undergoing trial before General Court Martial in Abuja, Lagos and Jos.
Laleye dismissed reports that proceedings at the General Court Martial did not follow due process, saying the court martial was not a mushroom court.
“The judicial process that led to the convictions and acquittals followed international best practices in military law and also confirms to relevant Nigerian laws.
“This is contrary to insinuations by the media which suggest that due process has not been followed in the trial of officers and soldiers. Let me state categorically that a General Court Martial has the status of the high court and is backed by extant laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”, he stated.
Gen. Laleye, however, added that the all military court is not a final authority, saying that the process and convictions were subject to confirmation by the appropriate superior military authority and also subject to appeal.

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