The Defense Headquarters (DHQ) yesterday confirmed the court–martial of 18 soldiers of the Nigerian Army that were involved in an alleged mutiny in May, in which revolting troops opened fire at a car carrying the commanding general of the army’s 7 Division in Maiduguri, Borno state.
Military sources said the soldiers will face a six-count charge to commit murder and mutiny. The charges are criminal conspiracy to commit mutiny punishable by court martial by virtue of Section 114 of AFA and punishable under Section 97(1) of the penal code CAP P89, laws of the Federation of Nigeria. Mutiny punishable under Section 52(1) (b) of AFA CAP A20, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
Military sources said the General Officer Commanding (GOC), of the newly-created 7 Division, Ahmadu Mohammed, a Major-General, was targeted by soldiers, who blamed him for the deaths of their colleagues.
The attack in Maimalari Cantonment, on May 14, humiliated the Nigerian military at a time the force came under international spotlight over the abduction of nearly 300 school girls in Chibok by the Boko Haram sect.
Official said at the time, that the rebellious soldiers were infuriated over the ambushing and killing of their colleagues by Boko Haram – an attack the soldiers blamed their superiors for.
Premium Times reported that, in details seen by the medium, the soldiers have been charged for attempted murder and mutiny.
According to Premium Times, the internal memo, signed by the Commander, Army Headquarter Garrison, B.T. Ndiomu, ordered the constitution of a General Court Martial, to be presided by C.C Okonkwo, a Brigadier-General.
Mr. Ndiomu, also a Brigadier General, ordered that the court martial be assembled at the garrison’s conference hall on June 26.
The military court is made up of seven members, two waiting members, a judge advocate and two prosecuting officers.
Others members include: a liaison officer, a contact officer, two officers authorized to sign any amendment convening officer and eight other soldiers who form a court secretariat.