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68 soldiers face court marshal in Sokoto

The GOC 8 DIV, Major-General Uwem Bassey flanked by personnel of the Nigerian Army at the Court Marshal. Photo: Nasir Malali

8 Division, Nigerian Army Sokoto, has arraigned 68 soldiers for various offences before a general Court Marshal sitting at Giginya Barrack in the state.

Declaring the court marshal open, the General Officer Commanding 8 Division, Major-General Uwem Bassey said the session was convened due to the urgent needs of posting and promotion as the court marshal is established to administered justice, not only to the victims but also to the institution as well as the accused persons standing trial.

The GOC, who reminded the 12-man presiding members of the court marshal that the accused are still members of the Nigerian Army, attempted to allay fears harboured by the accused, saying that the trial is guided by principles of natural justice, equity and fair hearing as enshrined in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Speaking to newsmen, the defendant’s’ counsel, Godwin Uwadige said one of the accused soldiers was charged with armed robbery while others were charged with cowardice and other punishable offences.

According to Uwadige, some of the suspects were in detention for almost 2 years.

Reporting by Nasir Malali; Editing by Muzha Kucha and Tony Okerafor