The Nigerian Army says the former Group Managing Director (GMD) of the Nigeria Army Property Limited, Maj.-Gen. UM Mohammed, is being Court Martialed over alleged offences of theft of various sums of money and forgery.
The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu said he was indicted over sharp practices while in office.
Nwachukwu, said this in a statement issued on Sunday, in reaction to a report against Mohammed’s trial.
Nwachukwu noted that the General is being tried having been indicted by a military police investigation and recommendation for trial, adding that the media report on the ongoing Court Martial process of Mohammed “is ill-conceived and campaign of calumny”.
“Indeed, Maj.-Gen. Muhammed is facing army court-martial over alleged offences of theft of various sums of money belonging to NAPL and forgery.
“It is expedient to clear the air on the despicably false report and calculated attempt to cast aspersion on the ongoing court martial,” he stressed.
The army spokesperson said the trial had already progressed to an advanced stage, adding that the prosecution has put forward the evidence against the general and closed its case.
Nwachukwu disclosed that the accused has opened his defence and testifying as First Defence Witness.
He added: “For the avoidance of doubts, without being sub-judicial, the former GMD NAPL is facing trial in relation to alleged offences of theft of various sums of money belonging to NAPL and forgery.
“These are all acts declared as offences punishable under the provisions of various extant penal laws in Nigeria.
“To set the records straight, upon investigation and indictment of the accused senior officer by military police investigations, the Army Headquarters convened a Special Court Martial.
“This is to try the senior officer as a procedure to legally recover the sums of money he allegedly fraudulently acquired from the coffers of NAPL during his tenure as GMD.
“The details of the outcome of the court martial will be provided at the end of the court martial proceedings.
“It is instructive to point out, that trials are lawfully provided in the Armed Forces Act (AFA) as one of the disciplinary tools in the armed forces.”
Nwachukwu said the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court had in multiple instances validated the procedures, findings, and sentences of court-martial, adding that the court martials like all other criminal trials were held in the open.
He noted that the trial of Mohammed is taking place at the Army Headquarters Command Officers’ Mess, Asokoro, Abuja, and not shrouded in secrecy as being insinuated.
The army spokesman said the General was being defended by a legal team comprising two Senior Advocates and six lawyers, including a retired military officer.
Nwachukwu stated that Mohammed is currently being detained at a military location purposely-built for such detention, where the rights and wellbeing of such detainees were given prime consideration.
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