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Ex-Jaji Commander May Sue Army

Ex-Jaji Commander May Sue Army

Ex-Jaji Commander May Sue Army
The former Commander, Infantry Corps and Centre, Jaji, who was redeployed following the twin bomb blasts at the Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji, Maj.-Gen. Mohammed Isah, may have opted to engage the Nigerian Army in a suit over the decision to court-martial him.

A top military source said on Thursday that Isah was exploiting the opportunities offered by the law to enlist the services of a lawyer of his choice to challenge the decision.

But beyond the provisions in the military law giving him the right to hire a lawyer of his choice, Isah is believed to have opted for the legal option to prevent the Army from making him to face a court martial, which has serious implications on his record and achievements as a general in the Army.

The resort to a civil court for the resolution of the knotty issue, it was learnt, was to ensure that the general had access to justice as a Nigerian citizen.

Isah was retired compulsorily by the Nigerian Army Council alongside 51 other senior officers of the service, who were due for retirement.

 He was said to have been retired compulsorily because he did not put in a letter for voluntary retirement in consonance with traditional practice in the service for disengagement.

The former army secretary applied for a service extension to afford him the opportunity to contribute to the fight against terrorism in the country but the application was turned down.

With their retirement, Isah and several others might not be able to serve Nigeria at any level again.

Although, the Army has not come out with details of the final report of the panel, it was learnt that the officers and men on duty when the incident occurred were recommended for sanctioning.

The investigating panel was said to have interviewed Isah, AVM Kure, Maj.-Gen. Isuji (redeployed to Abuja), the field officer and duty officer on the day of attack, the Commanding Officer of the 4 Demo Battalion and the Rear Officer of the battalion, among others.

But the retired general has the option to write to the Army Council to appeal against the decision, a former Director of Army Public Relations, Maj.-Gen. Bola Koleosho, told journalists.

On Monday, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika, gave strong indications that Isah might face a military court martial even though he did not say so directly.

Ihejirika said Isah was indicted by the report of the investigating committee into the Jaji bomb blast which resulted in the killing of 17 people, including a general, Air Commodore Akabo.

The army chief said that in spite of the fact that Isah and his counterpart at the 1 Division of the Nigerian Army, Kaduna, got an intelligence report on the impending terror attack a day before the incident, Isah did not take the expected steps to forestall the attack.

Ihejirika also accused Isah of being behind an anonymous petition that alleged nepotism, favouritism and ethno-religious sentiments in postings and promotions in the Army.

Calls to Isah’s phone did not connect on Thursday and Friday. He did not also respond to an sms sent to his phone.

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