DHQ Fault Amnesty International over recall of former GOC 7 Division.
The Defence Headquarters yesterday faulted Amnesty International over its condemnation of the recall of Major General Ahmed Mohammed, former GOC 7 Division, Maiduguri, to the Nigerian Army after he was dumped for months and retired, following the mutinous action of soldiers who tried to kill him at Maimalari barracks on August 2014.
Speaking with Vanguard, Acting Director, Defence Information, Brigadier General Rabe Abubakar said, “Allegations by Amnesty International against the officer is unproven. We have our own administrative procedure. Last year the armed forces set up a committee to look into all allegations from human rights bodies against military officers. They were invited; they did not come or send any representative.
“In fact, if you ask me, I think what the Army did is something worth commending. If we could recall over 3, 000 soldiers who committed offences and were sentenced but due to law of fair hearing, they were given a second chance, what more of an officer who was not convicted of any crime or offence”.
The military felt that a mistake was committed and it corrected the mistake. That is we deserve commendation not what Amnesty is saying. There is no legal competent court that found him guilty of anything. Based on of our code of conduct, rules of engagement, terms and condition of service, he was not found wanting anywhere so his recall should be commended.
Recall that President Mihammadu Buhari directed the Nigerian Army authorities to immediately reinstate Major General Ahmed Muhammed, whose official vehicle was famously fired at by troops protesting the death of their colleagues in a Boko Haram ambush of their colleagues.
Consequently, the former GOC was recalled and is presently awaiting posting by the Army headquarters.
Following the near assassination of the GOC in August 2014 which was interpreted as an affront on the Army High Command headed by Lt. General KTJ Minimah, a military Court Martial was set up to trial about 90 soldiers for mutiny; attempt to assassinate the General Officer Commanding; conspiracy and disobedience to lawful orders.
On learning that about 25 troops deployed for insurgency operation by one of the Battalions’ under him were killed, the former GOC had gone to address the troops on the need to confront the terrorists with new strategies.
After addressing the troops at Maimalari Barracks, as he made to enter his vehicle, the soldiers opened fire on him but because the vehicle was bullet proof and supported by divine intervention, General Mohammed was able to escape.
The soldiers were later arraigned before a Military court Martial in Abuja, and some were sentenced to death, while others received jail sentences in accordance with specific roles played.
General Muhammed was later removed as the GOC and left floating and later retired,
Following the humiliation, the officer petitioned President Mohammadu Buhari intimating the C in C of his travails.
After reviewing his case and discovering that he was not tried for any offence or found culpable in any way, President Buhari ordered the Chief of Army Staff Lt. General Tukur Buratai to reinstate him.
Recall that 66 soldiers who were sentenced to death for the offences, had their sentences reviewed by a panel set up by the Chief of Army Staff and the death sentences commuted to 10 years imprisonment each.
The review panel was headed by the GOC 1 division; Major General Adeniyi Oyebade also pardoned 3, 032 soldiers who were sentenced by various court Martials in relation to offences committed in the offensive against terrorism.
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