The Nigerian Army on Thursday said 3,032 out of about 5000 of its soldiers who were dismissed by a court martial had been reinstated following a review of their cases by a Disciplinary Review Committee which was constituted by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai.
The Street Journal recalls that Lt. Gen. Kenneth Minimah, the immediate past Army Chief of Staff, had set up a court-martial which tried, convicted and sentenced soldiers over various acts of alleged indiscipline in the war against Boko Haram insurgents.
Colonel Sani Usman, acting Director, Army Public Relations, who announced their reinstatement in Abuja at a news conference, explained that the cases of the affected soldiers were treated strictly on merit by the Committee.
Usman, who stated that the review process was ongoing, further clarified that only soldiers with disciplinary cases had been reinstated, while those with criminal cases were not even considered.
The statement reads: “You would recall that the Nigerian Army some time ago instituted a committee to review the recent disciplinary cases in the service, especially of those soldiers in the defunct “Operation Zaman Lafiya.’’
“The committee has concluded its initial sitting and has made certain recommendation that led to the reinstatement of 3, 0 32 soldiers out of 5,000 cases reviewed so far.
“The cases reviewed were only disciplinary, as no criminal cases were considered, the review is ongoing but the bulk of the work has been done for the time being.’’
Following their reinstatement, Usman said the reinstated soldiers, had commenced re-training at the Nigerian Army Training Centre, Kontagora in Niger State, and were now totally committed and ready to be re-launched into the war theatre to combat insurgency.
According to the army spokesman, the re-training programme would reacquaint the soldiers with new developments in the reinvigorated fight against insurgency in parts of the Northeast.
Usman, who expressed the Buhari administration’s commitment towards encouraging officers and soldiers in the frontline to give their best in their service to the nation, said government would reward gallant officers and soldiers involved in the counter-insurgency war.