Nigerian military seeks Buhari's nod to try soldiers in arms probe
14 March 2016, 12:52
Abuja - The Nigerian military has revealed plans to gain permission from President Muhammadu Buhari to try all suspected soldiers in the ongoing investigation involving $2.1 billion meant for arms procurement.
According to Punch, military officials were currently seeking Buhari's approval in order to have the suspected soldiers undergo military trial, a process which they claimed would yield a better outcome than that of a regular court.
Sources within the military disclosed that provision for military trials is made under the country's Armed Forces Act, which is said to offer guidelines on the handling of cases involving military personnel.
"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," the source was quoted as saying.
Despite having yet to receive permission from the president, military sources have revealed that they would rely on the expertise of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo as well as the country's Attorney-General and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), should the green light be granted.
The development marks the latest in the scandal that involves high-profile members of Nigeria's elite.
The scandal, commonly known as #Dasukigate, was blown wide open when former National Security Adviser (NSA) Sambo Dasuki was placed at the centre of the controversy involving billions of dollars in funds diverted for the personal use of a myriad of officials.
Dasuki, who remains in detention, has since filed several court applications pleading for his discharge, with the former security boss even going as far as accusing government of delaying his trial in order to keep him behind bars.
According to a previous News24 report, the country's Chief of Defense Staff, Alex Badeh, along with the former Chief of Air Staff, MD Umar, are among those who have been interrogated on the scandal, with many more being implicated.
No less than 11 senior serving military officers, along with 22 companies, have been called to the offices of the EFCC for questioning over the missing funds.