There seems to be more trouble for the two military chiefs removed in the aftermath of the Jaji bombings.
The Commandant, Armed Forces Command and Staff College (AFCSC), Kaduna, Air Vice Marshal Ibrahim Abdullahi Kure and the Corps Commander, Infantry Corps Centre, Major General Mohammed Danhanne Isa may be court-martialed, according to the sources.
A Defence source, who pleaded not to be named, said the two commanders are to face trial for negligence of duty over the November 25 suicide bombing of St. Andrew’s Protestant Church inside the Jaji military base, near Kaduna.
The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Admiral Ola Sa’ad Ibrahim, at the weekend ordered the immediate redeployment of Air Vice Marshal Kure and Gen. Isa.
The redeployment of the top commanders was contained in statement by Director of Defence Information Vice Marshal Col. Mohammed Yerima.
A military source is quoted as having said that the redeployment was a prelude to “other necessary action.”
He noted that though it was still premature to say exactly what the officers would be charged with, “a charge of negligence of duty has already been established”.
Preliminary findings, the source said, showed “some level of complacency on the part of the commanders in security arrangement.”
He said the Board of enquiry instituted by the Defence Headquarters to unravel the circumstances that led to the twin bomb blasts had long swung into action.
Another military source says the recommendations of the Board of enquiry set up by the CDS should determine the steps to take.
He said: “Whatever recommendations by the Board of enquiry into the incident will be considered and necessary steps taken to avert future occurrence.”
He added that all options are open at this stage, pending the conclusion by the Board of enquiry.
Contacted to confirm the pending trial of the commanders, Director of Defence Information Col. Mohammed Yerima, said the military authorities have not considered the trial option. The report, he said, could not be true.
The procedure for special military court (special powers) was introduced under the Military Act cap 225, 1990.
The Act provides that the Court is established for the enforcement of discipline in the armed forces.
The court may be convened by the commanding officer of a unit in the Armed Forces. The court when convened under the Act excludes the jurisdiction of other courts.
According to the Act, the court shall have all the powers of a general court-martial order than the power to impose a penalty of death or a sentence of imprisonment exceeding five years.
“Any sentence imposed or awarded by the court shall be subject to confirmation by the Service Chief concerned and in the case of a commissioned officer, such sentence shall be channeled through the Service Chief concerned to the Army Council, the Navy Board or the Air Force Council for confirmation.”