A special court martial of the Nigerian Army has demoted the director, 68 Reference Hospital, Yaba, in Lagos State, Major General Patrick Falola, to the rank of brigadier general.
Air Vice Marshal James Gbum, the president of the special court martial, while delivering the judgement at the Mogadishu Cantonment in Abuja on Friday, September 9, 2016, said the accused was found guilty of the first count.
The demotion follows the conviction, after a 5-hour proceeding, of the General Falola of unlawfully admitting students for clinical training without due clearance from the army headquarters.
Major General Falola is said to have admitted international students from Espan Formation University, Cotonou in Benin Republic between July and September, 2016.
He was, however, discharged and acquitted of the second count of fraudulent misapplication of the hospital’s property.
Lawyer to Falola, Wing Commander Enokela Onyilo-Uloko (Rtd), in an unusual reaction to a judgement, criticised the conviction, saying that it had no legal backing and was a “premeditated attempt to taint the unblemished record of his client” whom he described as a distinguished medical officer with outstanding records.
According to him, there is no law stating that senior officers must take permission from the higher authority before allowing such training. He therefore said his client will appeal the of the Special Court Martial.
The judgement of the Army Court Martial is subject to confirmation by the Nigerian Army Council.