Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Military justice changes proposed in Nigeria

A bill has been proposed that would significantly alter the Nigerian military justice system. According to this report:
Chairman of the Review Committee which had representatives of the Defence headquarters and the services, Mrs. Chibogu Ibekwe said, “The extant armed forces act has been in operation for over 24 years and has during the period, generated considerable measure of controversies and debates arising from the application of its disciplinary provisions within the context of the military justice system which centers around threshold issues of non compliance with the minimum standards on constitutional rights and due process” 
She said, “There are provisions in the extant act that place enormous powers on convening officers of Court Martial’s. This has led to widespread and persistent complaints of denial of fair hearing, convictions based on insufficient or relevant evidence, substantial and procedural irregularities, selective trials, failure to give reasons for findings and undue command influence among others”. 
“All of these undermine the credibility, impartiality and independence of the military courts and result in sub standard miscarriage of justice. This has given rise to several instances of cases decided by Court Martial’s at the appellate courts”. 
“Besides the issues of non compliance with constitutional right provisions, there are still other inherent gaps and deficiencies in the act that have diminished the positive impact of its application” Mrs. Ibekwe added.
If any reader has the text of the recommendation, please send it to the Editor or post a comment with a link. 

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