The Nigerian Army on Tuesday inaugurated a General Court Martial (GMC) to investigate and unravel the true circumstances surrounding the disappearance of an alleged N400m by five run-away soldiers in Sokoto State on July 11, 2019.
This is as the accused, Major-General Hakeem Okiti objected to the headship of the GMC by Lt-General Lamidi Adeosun, who he said has some unresolved issues against him and would use the opportunity to ensure that he does not get fair hearing and justice.
The court martial which is presently headed by the Chief of Policy and Plan of the Nigerian Army, Lieutenant General Lamidi Adeosun is yet to rule on the matter of General Adeosun recusing himself from the panel owing to the objection by Okiti through his lawyer.
Accordingly, the GCM was officially inaugurated at the Army Headquarters Command Mess in Asokoro, Abuja.
Adeosun is expected to lead seven other members of the court in the trial of the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 8 Division, Major General Hakeem Okiti, who was allegedly believed to have directed the five missing soldiers to provide escort for vehicles conveying the N400million from Sokoto to Abuja.
While reading the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai’s proclamation to declare the GCM inaugurated, General Adeosun said that the books of evidences to be used at the trial will include Armed Forces Act CAP A20 LFN 2004, Evidence Act No 18. 2011, Rules of Procedures (Army) 1972, the Holy Quran and Bible, together with other relevant documents.
Adeosun said the General Court Marshal will hold its sittings at the AHQ Command Mess, on dates and times to be decided by the President of the martial.
Mr. Okechukwu Odion, lead counsel to the GOC, Major General Okiti, will be assisted by three other lawyers as defence team.
Five soldiers on escort duty for the 8 Division GOC, on July 11, stole a large amount of money (allegedly running into hundreds of millions) they were directed to take to an unknown destination in Abuja.