•Adjourns sitting, resumed after 7 pm
•Gen. Otiki’s lawyers frowned at presence of journalists
The General Court Martial (GCM) set up by the Nigerian Army to try one of its officers and a former, General Officer Commanding (GOC) 8 Division Sokoto, Maj-Gen.Hakeem Otiki, was set to deliver judgement on Monday, June 15, 2020.
But as the time of writing, the GCM headed by the Chief Of Training and Operations Lieutenant-General Lamidi Adeosun, sitting in Abuja was yet to deliver judgement after delays in commencing sitting.
The GCM, which has Major-General Lamidi Adeosun as president and Major A Mohammed as Judge advocate, also has Major-Generals AA Tarfa , FO Agugo,JS Malu, M Mohammed and Maj Gen CT Olukoju, as members, while Major General CC Okonkwo, is the waiting member.
According reports by the Sun, the GCM was inaugurated on Tuesday September, 17, 2019.
Otiki, was picked by the force, placed under house arrest and moved to Abuja after five soldiers belonging to his escort had sometimes in July, absconded with a whooping sum of 400 million naira while providing security services for a very important personality to Kaduna.
The soldiers who are now on the run include Coporals Gabriel Oluwaniyi, Mohammed Aminu, Lance Corporals Commander Haruna, Oluji Joshua, and Hayatudee, all soldiers of Operation Harbin Kunama III of the Nigerian Army 8 Division.
The soldiers alongside a relative of the former GOC, were said to have abandoned their service riffles, uniforms, mobile telephones and other military accoutrements and escaped with the loot. Reports also had it that the soldiers who may have been planning the operation after being sent on several occasion to deliver huge sums of money by their principal, also relocated their families from the barracks at Jaji, in Kaduna state thus making it very difficult for the military authorities to track and arrest them.
However, one of the soldier who refused to participate in the illegal act, was said to have reported the matter to the authorities.
GCM adjourns sitting
The GCM, sitting in Abuja, which is set to pass judgement today, resumed sitting at about 11 am when the Judge Advocate read the charges against the accused officer at the proceeding of the Court Martial which lasted about four hours.
Thereafter, the president of the court, Major General Lamidi Adeosun, adjourned the court to 7 pm when the judgement would be passed on the accused officer.
Gen. Otiki’s lawyers frowned at presence of journalists
The GCM, which commenced sitting after 7pm, has the president, Judge Advocate and all the members.
Gen Otiki, as in the last sitting, appeared in a motorized wheelchair with face shield and other preventive measures against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Members of the GCM, also have their face masks on, while some others wore face shield.
All safety procedures is being observed at the venue of the court where medical personnel from the Army are taking temperature checks and providing hand sanitizers to personnel, lawyers and selected journalists into the venue.
Also sitting arrangement is in compliance with federal government six feet distance.
However the lawyers to the accused general frowned at the presence of journalists at the court saying the authorities had told them they were inviting the media for coverage.
There are heavy presence of military police personnel at the premises of the court as expected.