The trial of the former General Officer Commanding (GOC) 7 Division, Sokoto, Maj.-Gen. Hakeem Otiki, over an alleged stolen N400 million by some soldiers placed under his command has been commenced by the Nigerian Army.
According to the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, while inaugurating the General Court Martial on Tuesday in Abuja, said the trial was in line with the Armed Forces Act Cap A20 Laws of the Federation 2014.
The court is to be lorded over by the Chief of Policy and Plans, Nigerian Army Headquarters, Maj.-Gen. Lamidi Adeosun.
The court members includes; Maj.-Gen. A.A Tarfa from the Headquarters Training and Doctrine Nigerian Army, Maj.-Gen. F.O Agugo from Department of Army Transformation and Innovation and Maj.-Gen. J.S Malu from the Headquarters Nigerian Army Engineers.
Others are Maj.-Gen. M.A. Muhammed from the Headquarters Nigerian Army Signal, Maj.-Gen. C.T Olukuju from Land Forces Stimulation Centre while Maj.-Gen. C.C Okonkwo will serve as a waiting member.
Buratai also appointed Maj. A. Muhammed from the Headquarters Directorate of Army Legal Services as the Judge Advocate of the court.
The prosecuting officers are Maj. J.A Orumo, Maj. J,A Obot, from the Office of the National Security Adviser, Maj. I.A Suleman from Guards Brigade.
According to the convening order issued by Buratai, the General Court Martial as composed is to assemble at Army Headquarters Command Mess Abuja for the purpose of trying the accused person.
“The charges are to be served on the accused person or his counsel not later than 24 hours before arraignment.
“The prosecuting and defence counsels will respectively call witnesses to prove their cases in accordance with the law.
“The accused person is entitled to a defence counsel of his choice and the accused person is to inform the convening officer of his counsel not later than 24 hours before the commencement of the trial.
“Recommended books to be used are the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended; Armed Forces Act Cap A20 Laws of the Federation 2004; Evidence Act number 18 of 2011; Rules of Procedures, Army 1972; the Holy Bible; the Holy Quran and any other relevant document,’’ he said.