The Nigerian Army has inaugurated a court martial to try two top military officers for violation of service discipline.
The two accused are Major General Ibrahim Sani, who was the Chief of Army Transformation and Innovation Centre, and Major -General Patrick Falola, who was the Commander 68 Hospital Yaba.
The President of Court and other members of the panel took turns taking oaths in the presence of the accused persons and lawyers from both the prosecution and the defence teams.
The panel include Air Vice Marshal James Gbum who is President of the Court, while Air Vice Marshal Iya Abdullahi and Rear Admiral Peter Agba are members of the panel.
Surgeon Rear Admiral Edwin Enechukwu is a waiting member and Colonel Sa’ad Musa is Judge Advocate.
Navy Captain Chris Anushiem is the Defence Counsel for Major-General Ibrahim Sani, while retired Wing Commander Enokela is the defence counsel for Major General Falola. Lieutenant Colonel Ukpe Ukpe is the prosecution witness for the Nigerian Army.
Speaking shortly after members of the special court were inaugurated, defence counsel, Navy Capt. Anushiem, drew the attention of the President of the court, AVM Gbum, to the fact that his two clients, Major General Sani and himself had not been served with copies of the charge sheet spelling out the offences committed, list of evidence or list of witnesses which could lead to an ambush when General Sani’s case begin.
He then requested the president of the court to direct the prosecution to provide the defence counsel of both accused the convening order, accompanied with the charge sheet, list of witnesses and list of evidence to enable them prepare adequately for their defence. Air Vice Marshal Gbum, subsequently, directed the prosecution to provide the documents to the defence counsel not later than 24 hours before the arraignment of the senior officers.
Although, the offences were not read in court, according to sources the accused are said to be facing charges that border on conduct unbecoming of military officers punishable under the Armed Forces Act.
After the inauguration ceremony the President of the Court, Air Vice Marshal Gbum, adjourned the case to Monday, April 9 for arraignment and commencement of trial.