The Nigerian Army authorities have sought for the permission of President Muhammadu Buhari to try serving military officers indicted in the ongoing investigation into the $2.1bn arms procurement scandal.
According to a report, military authorities had sought the President’s permission for the officers to be prosecuted under the Armed Forces Act.
A source said the position of the military was that the Armed Forces Act made provisions for such infractions on the part of military men and how to handle their cases.
The source further said it was the belief of the military that the indicted officers will be better tried in military courts than using the regular courts, and that the money in question was also meant for the procurement of arms for the Nigerian Armed Forces.
The source said: “The military authorities have suggested to the Federal Government that all serving officers, found culpable in the ongoing investigation into the arms procurement scandal, be tried under the Armed Forces Act rather than being tried in regular courts.
“You may recall that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has returned Col. Ojogbane Adegbe, the former Aide-de-Camp to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, to the military authorities after he was interrogated.
“A former Military Assistant in the Office of the National Security Adviser, Col. Nicholas Ashinze, had also been confined to the Officers’ Mess by the military authorities after his initial detention by the anti-graft agency.
“The pending request to try and them and 11 other serving military chiefs using the Armed Forces Act may be responsible for this.”
It is however yet to be known what the response of President Buhari would be, as he may have to rely on legal advice from Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and professor of law and that of the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, SAN.
11 serving senior military officers are being investigated by the EFCC over their roles in the alleged $2.1bn arms deals.