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Army refutes allegation of partisanship in trial of erring soldiers




By Stephen Asaba-ase


The Nigerian Army has faulted allegation of partiality in the trial of soldiers recently arraigned before a Court Martial in 82 Division, Enugu.


The Army in a statement on Saturday, by Maj.-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, Director, Army Public Relations in Abuja stated this.


While faulting the accusation, Nwachukwu maintained that the Nigerian army is a national institution and not an ethnic militia.


The Army spokesman said this while reacting to a media report that there was a deliberate effort to convict soldiers of Southern extraction, while those from Northern Nigeria were allowed to go free.


He said the report alleged that some allegedly aggrieved soldiers who were arraigned before the court martial expressed the concern.


Nwachukwu stressed that the misleading report was being circulated to cause disharmony within the army and by extension the Armed Forces of Nigeria.


He noted that the report is entirely bereft of any strand of truth and ultimately aimed at disparaging the current leadership of the army in particular and the armed forces in general, using the instrumentality of ethnic and religious bigotry.


Nwachukwu narrated that the composition of the said court martial was not based on regional representation but was diverse, with personnel drawn from various regions of the country.


He revealed that the President of the Court was of Northern extraction, while the Judge Advocate was from the South.


He added that 60 per cent of the court martial members were of Southern extraction.