Legal Nigeria

Military Court-Martial Warns Against Avoidable Adjournments

The Court-Martial trying erring soldiers of the Operation Lafiya Dole has warned that it will not welcome unnecessary adjournment and delays.
The President of the Court-Martial, Brigadier General Olusegun Adeniyi, gave the caution on Wednesday during the tri
al of four officers and 16 others charged for various malpractices in the course of the counter-insurgency war.
General Adeniyi, who read the riot act to the prosecuting and defence counsels, noted that he would conclude the trials within the shortest possible time, assuring that time spent in detention by the accused would be adequately accounted for once judgement was handed down.
He stated further, the reason for their confinement, adjourning sitting till September 5.
“Their confinement is so they do not endanger national security, others and themselves and interfere with prosecution since we still do not know the nature of their charges.”
The adjournment followed a plea by the prosecutors, who failed to furnish the court with details of charges against the erring soldiers.
The defence counsel, Steve Ogenyi, also made a bail application for the accused, who has spent between six to 18 months in detention, a request the court denied.
The acting General Officer Commanding 7 Division, Major General Victor Ezugwu, who inaugurated the Court Martial, said that the aim was to achieve timely and quick dispensation of justice.
General Ezugwu had appealed to the prosecutors and accused to avoid antics such as frivolous call for adjournment to cause unnecessary delay.
He also advised the court to avoid being biased and decisions based on external pressure, such that the judgement passed stands the test of Appellate Court and public opinion.
The acting GOC disclosed that the offences of those arraigned varies from theft and sales of ammunition to murder in the course of operations.
Source : Channels Television News