Fresh Attacks and Killing by Boko Haram: Army Sets Up Special Court Martial to try soldiers.
Following fresh large scale attacks by Boko Haram terrorists in several parts of the North East and killings of over 200 persons in the last two weeks as well as massive destruction of villages, authorities of the Nigerian Army have instituted a Special Military Court Martial to investigate and try those referred to as saboteurs in the operation.
Emphasizing that the recent unfortunate attacks by Boko Haram terrorists on communities close to Maiduguri, despite ‘our successes’, calls for concern, the Army said all cases of indiscipline and related acts of misconduct including human rights abuses will be tried by the Special Court .
A statement issued last night and signed by the Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Colonel Sani Usman also noted that Operation Lafiya Dole is still under the operational command of the Chief of Army staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai while the Chief of Defence Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin exercises supervisory role over the Army and Airforce Components.
Titled ‘Speculations on the Take Over of the Command of Operation Lafiya Dole Misleading’, the statement reads, “In recent days there were speculations in the media especially the online media, to the effect that Operation LAFIYA DOLE has been taken over by the Defence Headquarters and that soldiers are not happy about it.
“This is quite unfortunate and figment of imaginations of the respective media which was aimed at distracting the military, create rancour and disaffection among the components fighting Boko Haram terrorists.
“Consequently, it is important to reiterate that since inception of the operation there has always been a hierarchy of command and control as indeed in all military operations.
“The Armed Forces Act (AFA), Cap A20, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN), 2004 in Section 7, clearly states the appointment of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) and his powers.
“He therefore exercises his powers in accordance with the appropriate statue books. He superintends over all the Services; Nigerian Army, Nigerian Navy and the Nigeria Air Force.
“Therefore, the operation in the North East is not an exception.
“On the other hand, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) is responsible for all land operations and will continue to exercise that role and as may be directed by the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria through the Minister of Defence, the CDS or directly to the COAS as the case may be.
“Operation LAFIYA DOLE is essentially Land and Air operation. The Nigerian Army has the largest troops deployed and therefore the COAS has the responsibility for the operational, command, control and discipline of the Army. This, the COAS will continue to exercise by himself or can delegate through his field commanders.
“The recent unfortunate attacks by Boko Haram terrorists on communities close to Maiduguri, despite our successes calls for concern.
“To this end the Nigerian Army has already commenced investigation into the attacks. All those found wanting will be dealt with in accordance with the Armed Forces Act. A standing Special Court Martial in the North East has already been established by the Nigerian Army.
“All cases of indiscipline and related acts of misconduct including human rights abuse in the operations will be tried by this Special Court Martial.
“The public and indeed Nigerians are hereby requested to disregard rumours and speculations on the alleged takeover of the command and control of Operation LAFIYA DOLE and continue to support the fight against terrorism and insurgency.”
It will be recalled that last weekend, a delegation of the Secretary to the Federal Government, Bubachir Lawal who represented President Muhammadu Buhari, and three Ministers, visited Dalori community, close to Maiduguri in Borno state to commiserate with the community head over the death of over 200 persons and destruction of the village.
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