NEWS AGENCY OF NIGERIA
Tues., 16 August 2011
Brigadier-General Muraina Raji, former Commander, 33 Artillery Brigade, Bauchi, was on Tuesday arraigned before a Special Court Martial over the escape of two detainees from the Brigade’s detention facilities.
The detainees are suspected to be members of the Boko Haram sect, and were arrested over an onslaught on Bauchi late 2010.
Inaugurating the six-member panel in Jos, the GOC, 3 Armoured Division, Maj.-Gen Sunday Idoko, said that Raji was indicted for complicity by a military investigation report.
“It is the duty of superiors to observe, correct and instantly deal with negligence or any misconduct on the part of subordinates. When there is any breach, it is expected that appropriate disciplinary measures are taken by commanders to forestall future occurrence.”
The GOC said that the constitutional role of the military required the highest standard of discipline and professionalism, stressing that discipline and loyalty were essential requirements to success in professional soldiering.
Idoko explained that appropriate disciplinary action was necessary in the Nigerian Army so that the institution would continue to play its constitutional role and sustain its place as the pride of the nation. He expressed regrets that he was convening the third Court within a year of his assumption of duty as the GOC of the Division.
“However, if this Division has been witnessing one Court Martial after the other, it is because I want to sustain high level of professionalism required to confront the mounting security challenges in our areas of operation,” he said.
The GOC noted that the existing Court in the Division’s Headquarters lacked jurisdiction to try Raji by virtue of his rank, necessitating the inauguration of another Court.
Idoko implored the Court to ensure that no effort was spared to achieve justice for the accused, the Nigerian Army and the Nigerian State, adding that fairness and impartiality should be upheld in the proceedings and the dispensation of justice.