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|13 Soldiers To Face Trial For Cowardice by shoprite: 2:27pm On Sep 26, 2014|
[b]There were indications in Abuja on Thursday that the authorities of the Nigerian Army might soon arraign 13 soldiers for cowardice and failure to obey orders from their superiors to advance at the (war) front.
Investigations revealed that the soldiers directed to join their counterparts at the 7 Division, entrusted with the responsibility of coordinating the on going counter-terrorism operation in the North-East early in the year.
It was gathered that the General Court Martial set up to handle the cases emanating from the on-going operation led by Brig. Gen. CC Okonkwo will hear the cases against the soldiers .
A military source, who made this known in Abuja, did not give the exact date for the hearing of the cases.
He said that the soldiers ‘’failed to advance when an order was given to them to do so.” Their action, according to him, was against military laws.
It was learnt that the affected soldiers had all been moved to the Mogadishu Cantonment, Abuja, which is the venue of the GCM.
When one of our correspondents contacted the Public Relations Officer of the Defence Headquarters, Garrison, Mogadishu Cantonment, Col. Aliyu Yusuf, he said that the GCM was not treating any case for now.
Yusuf said, “For now, there is no court martial inaugurated. When the court martial is inaugurated, I will brief you appropriately on the issues before it.”
It was learnt that many military personnel in detention were waiting to face the court martial for misdemeanours.
The misdemeanours include negligence of duty, cowardice, failure to perform military duty, failure to advance with orders, leakage of information to the enemy and others.
The PUNCH gathered that the military authorities had cleared the detention facility at the Mogadishu Cantonment where 12 who were sentenced to death on September 16, 2014, are kept to create room for the 13 soldiers from the 7 Division.
It was learnt that the convicted soldiers had been moved to the detention facility of the Directorate of Military Intelligence in Lagos.
The GCM had found the 12 soldiers guilty of conspiracy to commit murder and mutiny and sentenced them to death by firing squad.
When our correspondent contacted the Director of Defence Information, Major General Chris Olukolade, he neither confirmed nor denied the planned trial of the 13 soldiers .
He said that the GCM was a standing court that would continue until all the cases before it were treated.
The DHQ spokesman said, “Normally, the court martial as a standing court is continuous until all the cases before it are disposed of.”
Meanwhile, a pastor, teacher and 18 other residents of Shaffa and Shindiffu in the Hawul Local Government Area of Borno State have been killed by Boko Haram insurgents.
The insurgents also razed down 10 churches, including the Living Faith Church and private homes during the attacks on Wednesday.
Sadly the incidents took place hours after the Defence Headquarters announced on Wednesday that troops killed Mohammed Bashir aka Abubakar Shekau, the leader of Boko Haram.
An eyewitness gave the name of the killed pastor as Eliud Gwamna Mshelizza of the Living Faith Church.
He also claimed that all the murdered people, including the Government Girls’ Secondary School, Shaffa teacher, were Christians.
A resident said apart from the 10 burnt churches, including the E.Y.N 1, 2 and 3 in Shaffa and Shindiffu, the insurgents destroyed a clinic as well as some staff quarters and other structures at the GSS.
The terrorists, according to him, invaded Shaffa at about 8pm on Wednesday and wreaked havoc before moving to the nearby Shindiffu at about 11am on Thursday.
The insurgents had in the last two months attacked Tashan Alade, Hirzhi, Pela Birni, Debiro, Kwajaffa Bura, Jubwuwhi and Dalwa in the LGA.
The Public Relations Officer of the state Police Command, Gideon Jubrin, confirmed the attacks to journalists on the telephone on Thursday .
He said, “There was an attack on some villages of the Hawul Local Government Area by suspected members of Boko Haram but I have yet to get details due to lack of telecommunication services in the affected areas.”[/b]
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