Inaugurating the court martial at 3 Armoured Division of the Nigeria Army, Rukuba, Plateau State, the commander of the task force, Tagbo Ude, said the accused contravened several laws of the armed forces.
“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,” Mr. Ude said.
“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.”
Mr. Ude, a major general, explained that the court martial is the apparatus put in place by the Armed Forces of Nigeria to discipline erring personnel.
Mr. Ude also assured the affected soldiers of a fair hearing, saying, “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,” he added.