By Sumaila Ogbaje
The Nigerian Army has commenced the trial of the former General Officer Commanding (GOC) 8 Division, Sokoto, Maj.-Gen. Hakeem Otiki, over alleged stolen N400 million by some soldiers under his command.
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 2004.
The General Court Martial is to be presided over by the Chief of Policy and Plans, Nigerian Army Headquarters, Maj.-Gen. Lamidi Adeosun, as the president of the court.
Members of the court are 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 accuse person.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the army authorities had in July begun the interrogation of the former GOC over the missing N400 million.
Five soldiers had been confirmed to have carted away a consignment containing the money, while on an escort duty from Sokoto to Kaduna states in July. (NAN)