The Nigerian Army has begun the trial of former General Officer Commanding (GOC) 7 Division, Sokoto, Major General Hakeem Otiki, over an alleged N400 million stolen by some soldiers under his command.
Five soldiers of Operation Harbin Kunama III were confirmed to have absconded with the money while escorting it from Sokoko on July 11, 2019, en route Abuja.
Army authorities had since July begun the interrogation of the former GOC over the missing N400 million.
Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, inaugurated the General Court Martial for the trial on Tuesday in Abuja, stating that the trial was in line with the Armed Forces Act Cap A20 Laws of the Federation 2014.
The General Court Martial would be presided over by the Chief of Policy and Plans, Nigerian Army Headquarters, Maj.-Gen. Lamidi Adeosun, as the president of the court.
According to the convening order issued by Buratai, the General Court Martial would assemble at Army Headquarters Command Mess Abuja to try the accused.
“The charges are to be served on the accused person or his counsel not later than 24 hours before arraignment.
“The prosecuting and defence counsels will respectively call witnesses to prove their cases in accordance with the law.
“The accused person is entitled to a defence counsel of his choice and accused person is to inform the convening officer of his counsel not later than 24 hours before the commencement of the trial.
“Recommended books to be used are the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended; Armed Forces Act Cap A20 Laws of the Federation 2004; Evidence Act number 18 of 2011; Rules of Procedures, Army 1972; the Holy Bible; the Holy Quran and any other relevant document,’’ he said.