Twenty-five soldiers and an officer are currently being court-martialed in the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army for various offences.
The personnel facing the trial are drawn from various formations within the division, whose area of responsibility covers the entire South-East states and Cross River.
The General Officer Commanding, 82 Division, Maj. Gen. Hassan Dada inaugurated the court martial in Enugu on Tuesday.
He said the process was instituted under the Nigerian Armed Forces Act.
According to him, a court-martial is one of the vehicles used by the military to instil discipline in its personnel.
The GOC said the accused remained innocent until proven otherwise after going through the court martial and given due fair hearing. He said depending on the finding of the court-martial, the defendants would either be freed or punished.
“Let me assure you that this court-martial will be guided by the principle of natural justice and fair hearing as encapsulated in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended and other extant laws and procedures related to your trial.
“The court is free from any external influences and we will ensure adequate time and facilities to ensure you defend yourselves,” the GOC said.
He urged the defence counsel to avoid unnecessary adjournment which would make the cases drag.
The court martial has Col. Usman Ahmad, as President leading 10 members. It also has a Judge Advocate, Capt. S.A. Sadiq, to duly advise the panel as the proceedings continued.