Timothy Olanrewaju, Maiduguri
The military has inaugurated a special court to try troops who violated rules of engagement and procedures in the counter-insurgency operation in the North East.
Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj Gen Benson Akinroluyo while inaugurating the General Court Martial (GCM) at the Army Cantonment, Maiduguri, Borno State said the court was established as a trial panel for troops that breached administrative and operational procedures in the theatre of operation against Boko Haram in the North East.
“The court does not have any interest to serve rather than the routine duties within the realm of regimentation,” Gen Akinroluyo stressed.
He said the military was known with “maintenance of discipline and decorum” in its ways of doing things. “The operational efficacy of the military is better retained when the ethics and customs aim at enhancing discipline are encouraged,” he said.
The theatre commander said the court was established with the power conferred on him under Section 131(2) (d) of the Armed Forces Act CAP A20 LFN 2004. He urged the court to maintain the principle of natural justice, equity and fairness in its conduct
“We will make sure that a level playing ground is provided for the accused persons and the prosecution,” he pledged. He charged the court to discharge its duty justifiably.
He said the judgements of the court were subject to confirmation by the army ruling council. He, however, did not give details and statistics of cases to be treated by the court. President of the General Court Martial Court, Brig Gen. Abdullahi Ibrahim, assured the theatre command of commitment of the members.
The General Court Martial was the second to be established in the theatre.