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Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. T. Y Buratai

Army begins trial of GOC over alleged N400m stolen by ‘renegade’ soldiers

Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. T. Y Buratai

The Nigerian Army (NA), 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 11 July, 2019.

The court martial, which is to be headed by the Army’s Chief of Policy and Plan, Lieutenant General Lamidi Adeosun, was officially inaugurated at the Army Headquarters Command Mess in Asokoro, Abuja.

Lt. Gen. Adeosun, will lead seven other members of the court to probe the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 8 Division, Major General Hakeem Okiti, who was reported to have directed the five missing soldiers to provide escort for vehicles conveying the huge sum of money from Sokoto to Abuja.

While reading the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai’s proclamation inaugurating members of the court martial, General Adeosun, disclosed that the books of evidences to be used during the trial period 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.

He explained that the GCM will be sitting 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 prosecuted Major General, will be assisted by three other lawyers, who formed the GOC’s defence team.

It would be recalled that five soldiers on escort duty for the 8 Division GOC, on 11 July, went rogue and stole a large amount of money (allegedly running into hundreds of millions) they were asked to take to an unknown destination in Abuja from Sokoto.

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