The Nigerian Army has concluded plans to court martial 12 soldiers in Enugu, South East Nigeria, for various disciplinary offences.
To this end, the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 82 Division Nigerian Army, Maj-Gen. Emmanuel Kabuk, Monday inaugurated a General Court Martial (GCM) to try erring personnel of the Division.
This, Kabuk said, is in line with the importance of discipline to the success or failure of any organisation, particularly the military, in peace or in war.
Speaking at the inauguration of the court at the 82 Division Officers’ Mess, Abakpa Cantonment Enugu, the GOC enjoined members of the GCM to adhere strictly to the rules of law and strict obedience to the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria (CFRN) 1999 as amended.
Kabuk in a statement on Tuesday by the Deputy Director of Army Public Relations (DDAPR), Col. Sagir Musa, described discipline as the bed rock of Military profession.
He said: “Te operational efficiency of any military force is a mix of sound administration and rigid disciplinary measures.
“Thus, disciplinary measures in the military to which court martial belongs, are aimed at guaranteeing a highly disciplined and battle ready army, which is in line with the Chief of Army Staff vision, “To have a professionally responsive Nigerian Army in the discharge of its Constitutional roles”.
“In this vein, trials in the NA must be organized and administered in accordance with provisions of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (CFRN) as amended”, he added.
The GOC noted that essence of the GCM, in addition to the dispensation of justice, is to send the right signal to the NA personnel that may fall into the temptation of violating extant rules and regulations, that acts of indiscipline will be met with appropriate disciplinary action.
He charged all the parties in the cases to avoid unnecessary techanicalities that would delay the trials and in the process waste a lot of resources.
“Let me recall both Section 36 of the 1999 CFRN (as amended) and Section 122 of the Armed Forces Act, CAP A20, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 which emphasize that expeditious and speedy trials form the basis of which fair trial must rest”, he stated.
Kabuk stressed the popular belief that justice delayed is justice denied, justice delayed is not justice denied and justice delayed is not justice at all.
Also speaking, the President of the GCM, Col. Edwàrd Abore promised to administer justice in line with Armed Forces Act Cap A20 law of Federal and CFRN 1999 as amended.
Abore made it clear that all the accused are entitled to legal representation of their choices.
The 12 Soldiers will be appearing before the GCM on various charges.
In the military, Musa said, offences that can not be summarily tried are the ones that are referred for court martial as contained in Section 124, Sub Section 6 of the Armed Forces Act.