Brigade Commander of the 23 Armoured Brigade in Yola, Adamawa State, Colonel Victor Ebhaleme, who was accused of not to making sure that support weapons approved for units under his brigade were collected and arraigned on a one count charge of negligence in performing his military duty as provided under Section 62 (b) of the Armed Forces Act.
He was charged before the General Court Martial sitting at the 9 Brigade officer’s mess, Ikeja Cantonment, which has now acquitted him. According to Premium Times, a military source disclosed that for the offence Col. Ebhaleme was charged, there was no such weapon approval in the military.
He was arraigned on January 19, 2015 with 21 other officers. Col. Ebhaleme was never indicted during the investigation as revealed by the investigation officer. Due to this revelation, counsel to the accused, Femi Oyebanji, made a no case submission at the close of the prosecution’s submission, urging the court to discharge and acquit the officer as the prosecution had failed to establish essential elements to prove the charge.
Major General S. D. Aliyu who heads the General Court Martial upheld a no case submission and as proceeded to discharge and acquit Col. Ebhaleme. This is the first time since the military started trying hundreds of soldiers appearing before it in Boko Haram related charges, an officer will be publicly acquitted.
Similarly, the trial of Brigadier General, Enitan Ransome Kuti and four other top military officers who were blamed for the loss of Baga in Borno State to Boko Haram insurgents in January 2015, holding at a different General Court Martial is expected to resume next Thursday, June 4, 2015.