The Nigerian Army has said that it is not part of its tradition, nor a culture of the Nigerian military to secretly try erring personnel and officers.
This is just as a senior Army officer, has also debunked a report that six Igbo Christian soldiers were secretly executed on Monday, 25 January, 2021, on the instruction of the immediate-past Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai.
The report claimed that the alleged six soldiers were denied legal representation, before their execution, after a hasty secret trial.
PRNigeria gathered that a coalition of human rights activists from South-East had alleged in a press statement that the victims were Igbo Christian soldiers attached to the Armoury Department of the Nigerian Army, in Abacha Barracks, Abuja.
The activists gave the names of those allegedly ‘secretly’ executed as: Prince Ukwuoma, son of a traditional ruler; Ebube Isaiah, Amos Azubuike, Ekene Ebere, Moses Anyim and Godwin Uchendu.
But in a chat with PRNigeria, a very senior military intelligence officer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, described the report as false and malicious.
He said nothing like that truly happened, adding that a general court-martial set up to try erring soldiers or Army officers is normally constituted and announced publicly.
According to him, a court-martial of the Army must have a President and other members, who conducts trial publicly, and not in secret.
“Which court-martial are they referring to? When was it constituted? Who was the President and who were the other members of the court-martial? Where were the six soldiers executed? Can they show us their graves?
“There is no secret trial in the military, in general. If secret trials were not conducted by the Army for its erring soldiers and officers during military regimes, how then can that be possible now, under a democratic rule?
“We have witnessed instances where even erring Army general have been publicly tried at various court-martials, which were also legally constituted. So, why should a secret trial be held for ‘ordinary’ soldiers,” he said.