Published on: September 22, 2021

Soldier who criticised Buratai over inadequate arms to face court-martial in Sokoto

The Nigerian Army has transferred the case involving Lance Corporal Idakpini Martins, from the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja to Sokoto State where he is to face a military court-martial. Recall that Lance Corporal Martins had in a video that went viral, criticised the Chief of Army Staff,   Lt. Gen Tukur Buratai, over the handling of the Boko Haram crisis, saying troops did not have commensurate weaponry to fight Boko Haram and armed bandits. The soldier’s lawyer, Tope Akinyode, confirmed at the weekend that military authorities had fixed the court-martial to hold in Sokoto since he was serving in Operation Hadarin Daji, Sokoto, at the time he released the video. A source said the soldier will face the court-martial this week, saying the trial might commence today. Lance Corporal Idakpini was arrested on June 20, 2020, following the release of the video. His lawyer said he had been in detention in Abuja and had been denied legal representation for a month until he (lawyer) approached a Federal High Court, Abuja, to file a rights violation lawsuit.
Soldier who criticised Buratai over inadequate arms to face court-martial in SokotoOn July 22, Justice A. I. Chikere ordered that Lance Corporal Martins be granted access to his lawyer and relatives but the lawyer said the Nigerian Army on several occasions refused to obey, hence, denying Mr Martins the right to see his lawyer and families. Concerning the scheduled trial in Sokoto, Mr Akinyode alleged that the army was imposing a lawyer from within the military on Lance Corporal Martins, saying it was “an attempt to jeopardize the case and wrongly convict the detained soldier.” The lawyer further alleged that Lance Corporal Martins had been brutalized and subjected to a great deal of dehumanizing treatment, adding that he was also denied food while Idakpini had allegedly developed an ulcer. He said efforts were ongoing to resist the move by the Army because, according to him, soldiers accused of violating army rules, if required to appear before a court-martial, had the right to choose their own lawyers, including from outside the Army.


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