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A military court in Abuja has convicted one of his top military personnel months after he complained about the lack of weapons for troops at the forefront of the fight against insurgents in the Northern part of Nigeria.
Olusegun Adeniyi, a former theatre commander of Operation Laifya Dole was also demoted by at least three years, a local report says.
Major-General Adeniyi complained about the weapons in a video that went viral in March 2020.
The Nigeria Army immediately removed him as a commander and transferred him to the Headquarter in Abuja pending when he faced a military court.
A court-martial is similar to a civilian court trial.
In an attempt to defend its action, the Nigerian army claimed Adeniyi’s redeployment was a routine exercise that had no connection with his statement but to reinvigorate the system, the local news, Thecable report.
During his trial which was held on Monday, the former General was found guilty of violating military social media guidelines and was ordered to be demoted.
The Court-Martial also prosecute Adeniyi’s military aide, Tokunbo Obanla.
Obanla was found guilty and sentenced to 28 days in jail with hard labour.
According to the report, the aide admitted posting the video on social media in error as he was with Adeniyi’s phone at the time.
The defendant lawyer has assured that the case would be appealed at a higher military authority.
The convictions of the duo won’t take effect until it is confirmed by the military board.
Why Was Adeniyi Removed and Prosecuted?
A video, which was believed to have been recorded in January surfaced on social media where Adeniyi was seen talking to a higher officer who was suspected to be the Army Chief of Staff, Tukur Buratai.
The General had complained about the challenges they faced which including the numerous times they had to change their tyres due to the terrain.
He also was seen telling his superior that his soldiers were very co-operative despite the situation.
“I’m standing here with sector 2 commander. The armed helicopter has just come over our head. The instruction I gave them, anything moving they should engage it because most of my gun trucks are not moving,” Adeniyi was heard saying.
“As I said earlier, we are with the leading embrace, 3 battalions are fighting and deployed, nobody is running.
“But what we have here, I will give you some estimates to guide your good decision, sir. Boko Haram has fired more than a hundred mortal bombs at us, they have fired more than 80 to 100 RPGs (rocket-propelled grenades) at us in addition to more than 8 to 10 gun trucks from every side since yesterday.
“We have not run, and the soldiers are not misbehaving or disobeying orders. We have casualties, I will come and see you in person on what we need to do. But we are not running.”
He continued “One of our MRAP’s (mine-resistant ambush protected) tyres that ran flat after bullet touched it. We have used more than 20 MRAP tyres here. That’s another one, sir. We have changed close to 250 Hilux tyres due to the terrain. This is what we are facing.”