The legal team set up by the Nigerian Army to represent the service at the ongoing Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on the alleged shooting of innocent protesters at Lekki has submitted its report to the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai, in Abuja.
The team, led by Akinlolu Kehinde, SAN, said the Nigerian Army was not under any form of trial over the shooting at the Lekki tollgate that allegedly resulted in the killing of some #EndSARS protesters on October 20, 2020.
The team has as members the director legal services of the Nigerian Army, Brigadier General M.U. Wambai, Samuel Agweh, SAN, Biola Oyebanji and Colonel Michael Ede. The report received by the Chief of Policy and Plans (COPP), Lt-Gen Lamidi Adeosun, who represented the COAS.
Presenting the five-page report, Kehinde said: “I want it to be clear that at no point in time was the Nigerian Army summoned as a respondent, at no time was the Nigerian Army mentioned. Army was there to throw light on what happened.
“At the end of the presentation, the Nigerian Army was able to explain its involvement, we were able to establish that the NA did not set out on its own to intervene; the Nigerian Army was called because the civil police was overwhelmed. We were able to show the footage, both oral and visual to show the role of the NA.
“The panel also must bear in mind that it is a fact-finding panel. The panel has no capacity to ascribe any punishment or any sentence on anybody. The whole idea of setting the panel of that nature is to help unravel what went wrong so that, in future, necessary precautions would be taken.”
7 Guards Brigade holds 2020 WASA
The 7 Guards Battalion Brigade, Nigerian Army, has held its 2020 West Africa Social Activities (WASA), at the Luingi Barracks, Abuja. It had Commandant, Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), Major-General Jamil Sarham, who was also a one-time commander of the brigade, as special guest of honour.
WASA, a cultural activity of the Nigerian Army, provides an enabling environment where soldiers, their families and loved ones come together to celebrate. It is unique and memorable as it showcases the diverse ethnic and rich cultural composition of personnel of the Nigerian Army. It provides a platform where national heritage and patriotism are celebrated against religious, ethnic and social sentiments. Sarham charged officers and soldiers of the battalion to remain loyal, disciplined and continue to abide by the rules.
He said: “The Guards Brigade remains the home of regimentation in the Nigerian Army. The level of discipline displayed by soldiers of the battalion showed high level of regimentation.”
He congratulated award recipients and urged those who did not win to perform better next year. He commended the commander of the brigade, Brigadier General Takuti Usman, for sustaining elite culture of the brigade. The commanding officer, of the battalion, Lieutenant-Colonel Murkar Sani Daroda, said: “WASA, an age-long military regimental event, is aimed at creating a conducive atmosphere for relaxation of officers, soldiers and their families at the end of every rigorous training year.
“The origin of WASA could be traced to as far back as the World War II, when the Nigerian Army fought as part of the larger West African Frontier Force. During this period, indigenous Nigerian personnel celebrated their cultural heritage at the end of every year.
“These were marked with sacrificial offerings at the end of the harvest or the beginning of the planting season to usher peace, bumper harvest and progress for the New Year. During this period, delegates were usually sent to the military by the village heads to seek the release of soldiers for the year’s ritual. Instead of releasing the soldiers yearly to perform the ritual, the military authorities then incorporated this tradition into the Army and named it West African Social Activity (WASA).”
The occasion featured Igbo traditional dances, Effik dancers, Gbagyi cultural group, Fulani dancers, acrobatic displays, food parade, tug of war between female soldiers and soldier wives, raffle draw and other exciting displays.
NMS Zaria graduates 294 soldiers
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai, said the graduation of another set of young soldiers would go a long way to improve the manpower needs of the Nigerian Army and boost its operations of protecting Nigeria’s territorial integrity.
He reiterated the commitment of the Federal Government to use the military to address emerging security challenges bedevilling the country.
He was speaking at the graduation of 294 candidates from the Nigerian Military School (NMS), Zaria, Kaduna State. Represented by the Chief of Administration, Major-General U.S. Yakubu, he said: “The Army has been involved in various operations and exercises in support of civil authority. To mention particularly is the maintenance of internal security in addition to its constitutional role of protecting the territorial integrity of Nigeria.
“The observed insecurity in the country has much to do with the level of training our children are exposed to from the beginning.
“Having more institutions that would inculcate a high level of discipline, knowledge and patriotism, just like NMS, is what we require to achieve.
“On our part, we will strive to ensure that all training schools in the NA are provided with the required facilities to ensure excellence, proficiency and professionalism.
“We have also taken deliberate steps to ensure that the quality of medical services to our personnel and their families is in line with international best practices.
“I assure all Nigerians that the Nigerian Amy is committed to the unity and indivisibility of this country and would do everything humanly possible to ensure that no part of this country is occupied by criminal elements.
“We will continue to support the civil authority at ensuring that citizens of this country enjoy adequate protection to perform their legitimate businesses throughout the country.”
Army builds 27-room hostel at midwifery school, Kisi
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai, has inaugurated a 27-room hostel facility at the School of Basic Midwifery, Kisi, in Irepo Local Government, Oyo State.
He said, “The project is in support of the Nigerian Army non-kinetic line of operation aimed at strengthening civil-military cooperation.”
Represented by the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 2 Division, Nigerian Army, Major-General Omozoje, he noted that related activities and quick impact projects were on going in various parts of the country: “The Nigerian Army, having enjoyed the cooperation and goodwill from the civil populace across the country, has embarked on deliberate steps to contribute to the society as part of it’s corporate social responsibility.”
He said the non-kinetic aspect of the Nigerian Army’s operations have greatly contributed to good and cordial relationship with the civil populace and host communities.