Nigerian Army (NA) has dismissed from service, two soldiers, Lance Corporal John Gabriel and Lance Corporal Adamu Gideon, allegedly involved in the killing of an Islamic cleric, Sheik Goni Gashua Aisami in Yobe state.
The soldiers were dismissed after facing trial at the Headquarters 241 Recce Battalion, Nguru on Saturday 27 August 2022, having been indicted in a report of a Board of Inquiry set up to investigate the unfortunate incident.
Both soldiers were charged and summarily tried for Failure to perform military duties and Conduct prejudice to service discipline, punishable under Section 62(a) of Armed Forces Act CAP A20 and Section 103(1) of Armed Forces Act CAP A20 Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 2004.
Both of them were found guilty and awarded reduction of rank from Lance Corporal to Private and Dismissed Regiments.
The two dismissed soldiers will be officially handed over to the Nigeria Police, Yobe State Command in Damaturu for civil prosecution in the court of law.
It could be recalled that the NA had pledged to institute a Board of Inquiry to unravel the circumstances surrounding the incident and speedily bring the suspects to justice, if indicted.
Once more, the NA wishes to commiserate with the family of the victim and the good people of Yobe State. May the soul of the deceased rest in perfect peace.
Signed: ONYEMA NWACHUKWU, Brigadier General, Director, Army Public Relations
27 Aug 2022.
RE: POLICE ARREST TWO SOLDIERS OVER MURDER OF ISLAMIC CLERIC
The attention of Headquarters Sector 2 Joint Task Force North East Operation Hadin Kai has been drawn to a publication by Premium Times dated 21 August 2022 alleging that the Nigerian Police in Yobe State have arrested two soldiers over the murder of an Islamic cleric, Sheikh Goni Gashua.
The Sector, in collaboration with Yobe State Police Command is carrying out investigation to unravel the identity of the suspected soldiers.
Additionally, the Sector has instituted a Board of Inquiry to unravel the circumstance surrounding the unfortunate incident.
At the end of the investigation, the soldiers will be made to face the full wrath of both military and civil laws.
This incident is highly regrettable given the Sectors disposition and zero tolerance on violation of Code of Conduct and Rules of engagement for troops.
Consequently, the Sector wishes to commiserate with the family of the victim and the good people of Yobe State and promise that justice would be served accordingly.
Signed: KENNEDY ANYANWU, Captain,
Assistant Director Army Public Relations
Headquarters Sector 2, Operation HADIN KAI, 21 August 2022.
PRESIDENT BUHARI CONDEMNS MURDER OF ISLAMIC CLERIC SHEIKH GONI AISAMI; CALLS ON MILITARY LEADERSHIP TO FLUSH OUT CRIMINALS
President Muhammadu Buhari has strongly condemned what he calls “the unprovoked and cold-blooded murder of a Yobe State-based Islamic cleric Sheikh Goni Aisami, by a callous soldier he had offered a lift as confirmed by the Police.”
Reacting to the incident on Tuesday, President Buhari said that “this barbaric murder of a compassionate man by a soldier he had assisted has no place in our training as soldiers, and it negates the entire ethos of military life which is anchored on discipline and respect for the sanctity of innocent lives.”
According to the President, “as the Commander-in-Chief, I am personally outraged by this criminal and wicked act by a law enforcement official trained to protect life.
“By our training, we are guided by a code of conduct that frowns on this kind of reckless and criminal act. It is not in our character and training to put innocent citizens in harm’s way. Of course, the action of this soldier is an isolated incident involving an individual, but it is capable of staining the collective image of our military.”
“This incident is capable of making our fellow citizens to be fearful of assisting soldiers, thereby destroying the bond of trust between our military and the civilians.
“I call on the military authorities to punish the perpetrators of this heinous crime without delay, and flush out other elements with such criminal tendencies,” President Buhari added.
He condoled with Yobe State Government, people of the State and family of the victim of this tragedy.
Signed: Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, August 23, 2022.