Undisclosed number of military personnel are to be court martial tomorrow in Jos, Plateau State for involvement in various acts unbecoming of officers and men of the Nigerian Army.
This was contained in a statement signed by the media officer of Operation Safe Haven, OPSH, Captain Iweha Ikedicihi, who said that the ad hoc body was set up to restore law and order in Plateau State.
OPSH said the court martial will be held at the auditorium, 3 division Nigerian Army, Maxwell Khobe Cantonment, Rukuba Barracks, where a thorough investigation will be conducted to ascertain the involvement of soldiers in alleged abuses of the civilian populace as well as other violation of the rules of engagement.
Captain Ikedicihi said: “This is pursuance to the powers conferred on the commander, Operations Safe Haven by virtue of section 131 of the Armed Forces Act CAP A 20 laws of the Federation of Nigeria. The court martial is to dispense with cases which could not have been dealt with by summary trials.
Nigerian Pilot Sunday notes that the court martial may not be unconnected to complaints by members of the various flashpoints communities alleging human rights abuses by soldiers, especially in Riyom and Barkin Ladi, in Jos North Local Government Area.
The statement from the military neither gave the number of officers and men to be court martialled nor gave specifications on the number of offences they were alleged to have committed.
Further, the statement said, “OPSH reiterates its readiness to ensure that the peace currently being enjoyed in Plateau continues even as the dry season farming is ongoing and preparation for the next raining season begins.
“OPSH also reiterates its readiness to respond to any act of breach of peace or security which is capable to cause possible death and destruction of property promptly. The commander Operation Safe Haven Major General Tagbo Ude reiterates call to continue to preach the gospel of peaceful co existence by members of the clergy, Imans and religious leaders, village and community leaders, Youth and Vigilante leaders.”
While assuring residents within its area of operational responsibility of their safety at all times, it assures that any information provided to it would be treated with absolute confidentially.
OPSH said measures to facilitate the return of Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, back to their communities stressing that it would work to ensure their safety.