The General Officer Commanding (GOC) 8 Division Nigerian Army and Commander Joint Taskforce (North West) Operation HADARIN DAJI, Major General Godwin Micheal Mutkut has charged parties involved in a Special Court Martial (SCM) inaugurated on Monday in Sokoto to work together to ensure that justice is attained.
The Special Court Marshal was convened to address various offences committed by Nigerian Army personnel in various theatres of operation across the country.
In his inaugural speech, the GOC stated that in order to sustain the administration of justice and a fair hearing for enhanced service discipline which he said is the bedrock of any military professionalism the inauguration of the SCM became crucial.
He reiterated that court martial, like all courts, is established to provide justice not only to the victims of an alleged crime but justice also to the State and to the accused persons.
He, therefore, charged the court to evaluate all evidence before it in line with the principles of fairness and to decide each case on its merit so as to ensure justice is served to all.
He reminded the court of the assertion that says it is better for 99 guilty persons to go free than for one innocent person to be unjustly convicted.
The GOC further assured the personnel standing trial that the Special Court Martial will be guided throughout the trial by the principles of natural justice and fair hearing as encapsulated in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and other laws and procedures related to their trials.
He reiterated that the court will be devoid of any external influence and will afford them adequate time and facilities to defend themselves.
Present at the inauguration of the court were senior officers including the President of the Court Col. Kabir Imam, formation commanders, prosecution and defence councils.