Saturday, October 17, 2015

General officer jailed in Nigeria

Femi Falana SAN
A brigadier general has been dismissed and sentenced to six months' confinement by a Nigerian general court-martial sitting behind closed doors. The Associated Press reports:
Brig. Gen. Enitan Ransome Kuti — a nephew of Afrobeat music legend Fela Ransome-Kuti — was sentenced to six months' jail for losing weapons to Boko Haram, said army spokesman Col Sani Usman. He was dismissed from the military for "failure to perform military duties." 
A court-martial sitting in secret Thursday found Ransome-Kuti not guilty of cowardice and found he was right to withdraw his men in the face of Boko Haram's superior numbers and firepower. 
Not part of the case was the civilian deaths at the Jan. 2 battle for Baga, which was headquarters for a multinational force. The government said 150 people were killed but witnesses put the number as high as 2,000. 
Defense lawyer Femi Falana said the military is discriminating since it has dismissed other courts-martial. Dozens of rank-and-file troops sentenced to death for offenses including running away from Boko Haram have received reprieves in recent months. 
"Since the other courts-martial have been dissolved ... it is discriminatory, inequitable and illegal to continue with the trial of Brigadier-General Ransome-Kuti," Falana said, according to the Premium Times newspaper.

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