Allegation of secret trial, execution of 6 Soldiers; Nigerian Army speaks

The Nigerian Army has denied a report of the execution of 6 soldiers saying it is not part of the army’s tradition, nor culture to secretly try erring personnel and officers.

The Nigerian Army made the call on its social media handle, tagged the allegation as false, fake news and malicious.

This came in shortly after a senior Army officer had also discredited the report that six soldiers were privately executed on 25 January 2021, on the order of the immediate-past Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai.

The report claimed that the alleged six soldiers were denied legal representation, before their execution, after a hasty secret trial.

It was gathered that a coalition of human rights activists from South-East had confirmed in a press statement that the soldier victims were Igbo Christians attached to the Armoury Department of the Nigerian Army, in Abacha Barracks, Abuja.

The activists went further to reveal the names of those ‘privately’ executed as Prince Ukwuoma, son of a traditional ruler; Ebube Isaiah, Amos Azubuike, Ekene Ebere, Moses Anyim and Godwin Uchendu.

Although in a chat with newsmen, a senior military intelligence officer, who spoke only on conditions of anonymity, said the report is false and malicious. He pointed out that nothing like that ever happened, adding that a general court-martial set up to try erring soldiers or Army officers is normally constituted and announced to the general public.

In his words “a court-martial of the Army must have a President and other members, who conducts trial publicly, and not in secret.” He then asked which court-martial they are referring to? When it was constituted? Who was the President and who were the other members of the court-martial?

He also demanded to know where the six soldiers were executed? And their graves?

He added that the military has witnessed instances where even erring Army Generals have been publicly tried at various court-martials, which were also legally constituted; and makes it unbelievable that secret trials were held for mere soldiers.

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