Africa In The News

Nigerian army punishes rowdy soldiers

MAIDUGURI, March 27 – A soldier has been jailed, a colleague demoted and
a navy officer imprisoned as the Nigeria General Court Marshall (GCM)
cracks the whip on rising ill-discipline in the uniformed forces.

The military court in northeastern Maiduguri sentenced a soldier
serving with anti-terror units to two years’ imprisonment for assault while
another lost seniority for “prejudice to military discipline” after
indecent assault of a minor. He was demoted from the rank of captain to
second lieutenant.

Also sentenced is a navy junior officer charged with “disorderly and
insubordinate behavior”. He bagged six months’ imprisonment on each count but the sentences will run
concurrently.

President of the court brigadier general Olusegun Adeniyi said the
sentenced would deter other ill-disciplined officers.

He admonished soldiers to observe rules guiding the profession. “The military all over the world is known for discipline and obedience to lawful orders.”

The court began sitting in August 2016 and has disposed of 12 cases so far.

The Nigerian army has been rocked by indiscipline lately, most
infamously in February when two soldiers severely assaulted a
wheelchair-bound man for wearing camouflage. They were demoted and
sentenced to 21 days of imprisonment.

A group of soldiers is under probe for severely beating a woman protesting
her brother’s assault by officers.

Rights groups allege human rights violations by the army on protestors and
anti-terror operations. – ANA-CAJ

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