Army Council Recommends Release, Demotion Of General Imprisoned Over Boko Haram
BEVERLY HILLS, March 02, (THEWILL) – The Nigerian Army Council has recommended the release from jail and demotion of Enitan Ransome-Kuti, the former Commander of the Multi National Joint Task Force, who was tried and convicted by a military court with a to six months imprisonment sentence.
The council also recommended that Ransome-Kuti, a Brigadier – General, was sentenced by a Special Court Martial on October 15, 2015, for alleged offences during the war against Boko Haram, be re-absorbed into the army.
His offences includes: “miscellaneous offences relating to service property, cowardly behaviour and failure to perform military duties” after Boko Haram militants overran a heavily fortified military base in Baga, North Eastern Nigeria, on January 3, 2015.
His lawyer, Femi Falana, Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), had requested his release pending the determination of his appeal, and petitioned the Army authorities demanding his freedom, saying his client was still held in prison custody despite completing his jail term insisting that Ransome-Kuti was unjustly convicted by the court martial.
He added that the army's refusal to release his client was a violation of Section 160 of the Armed Forces Act (Cap A20) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
“As the findings of the Special Court Martial are subject to the confirmation of the appropriate authority we made a strong representation to the Army Council on behalf of our client,” Falana wrote in the petition dated February 26.
“By letter dated 19 October, 2015, we also requested the Authorities of the Nigerian Army to release our client from military custody pending the determination of the appeal which he intended to file against the unjust findings of the Special Court Martial which convicted him of war related crimes and sentenced him to 6-month imprisonment and dismissal from the Nigerian Army.”
“Thus, you caused our client to serve the 6-month prison term without the confirmation of the findings of the Special Court Martial by the Army Council,” he said.
“As if that was not enough, you have ignored our demand for the release of our client since he completed the 6-month prison term on February 15, 2016.“
Story by David Oputah