By Taye Obateru
Jos — Eighteen soldiers serving in military task forces in Borno and Plateau states are to be tried by court-martial for various offences in the course of their duties.
Convening a General Court Martial to try them yesterday, General Officer Commanding 3 Armoured Division of Nigerian Army, Major-General Eboibowei Awala said one officer and 17 soldiers of the division would be tried for various acts of indiscipline.
He said the acts were committed while they were serving with the Joint Task Force, Operation Restore Order, in Borno State, and the Special Task Force, Operation Safe Haven, in Plateau State.
He said the offences committed by the accused, which had been investigated by the military police, included murder, manslaughter, cowardly behaviour and communication with the enemy, among others.
Awala said: “Discipline and loyalty are two essential requirements no officer or soldier, who wants to succeed in professional soldiering, can afford to lack.
GOC on discipline
“It is the duty of a superior to observe, correct and instantly deal with negligence or any misconduct on the part of subordinates.”
Awala said the General Court-Martial as prescribed by the Armed Forces Act is geared towards disciplining erring soldiers to forestall future occurrence.
He added that only a disciplined force can continue to play its constitutional role and remain a pride of the nation.
He said the trial was convened to sustain high level of professionalism required to confront the mounting security challenges in the division’s area of responsibility.
Awala urged the panel to carry out the trial expeditiously and ensure that justice is seen to be done.