Twenty soldiers, including four officers and sixteen other ranks, are facing court martial for various offenses committed during the counter insurgency operation in the Northeast.
Their alleged crimes include murder and illegal sales of fire arms.
The court martial was constituted on Wednesday by the acting General Officer Commanding, GOC, the 7 Division of the Nigerian Army, Victor Ezugwu, a Brigadier General.
Ezeugwu reiterated that discipline is the bedrock of the military profession and “to have a disciplined body of officers and men, there must be justice because it is when there is justice that discipline can be achieved.”
“Justice implies that infractions of the law must be promptly reported, investigated and the accused persons prosecuted within a reasonable time through the laid down rules, regulations and procedures” he added.
The GOC warned both the prosecution and the accused persons or their counsels to shun all forms of antics such as request for frivolous adjournments which could lead to delays in the trial processes as “justice delayed is justice denied,”.
He urged the president of the General Court Martial, Olusegun Adeniyi, and the members to dispense the assignment in accordance with the appropriate extant laws and ensure that their opinions and decision on all the cases brought before them is not in any way beclouded by bias or external pressure.
He also asked them to ensure that the judgment passed on the accused persons stand the test of appellate court, public opinion and above all, “that of the Almighty Creator.”
The president of the court assured that the accused persons would be given fair hearing.
He said: “I must assure all especially the accused that they have nothing to fear, we are going to be fair to all of them. Be guided by the constitution and all other military laws. We would be fair and just. There are higher courts were the judgment here can be appealed. You have the right for legal representation.”