The Nigerian Army has perfected plans to court-martial Lance Corporal Martins Idakpini in Sokoto State, SaharaReporters has exclusively gathered.
Idakpini was arrested in June 2020 shortly after he made a viral video castigating Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Burutai, for the failings of the army to combat and destroy Boko Haram terrorists.
In a notice on Monday titled “Amendment Number 6”, army authorities officially announced its readiness to court-martial.
The notice reads in part, “Amendment Number 6. To the covening order for the general court-martial onvened by Brigadier General A. Bande (N/8554) Psc, TSCN, NNI, Bsc, (HO), MIAD, Acting General Officer, Commanding, 8th Division Nigerian Army Pursuant to S 131 (2) (d) of the Armed Forces Act, Cap 820 LFN 2004.
“Further to reference A-G, the further convening authority has authorised the following amendments.
“(A) GCM awaiting member. Maj. I Akbuanwara (N/11493) is to replace Maj. OO Oni (N/12578) as GCM awaiting member.
“(B) Accused persons – include; 11NA/66/8655 Lance Corporal Idakpini Martins, 13NA/70/7733 Lance Corporal Inusa and 17NA/76/3646 Private Abubakar Abdullahi on the list of accused persons in paragraph of reference.”
Idakpini has been held incomunicado in the detention of the Nigerian Army since his arrest.
On July 22, 2020, an Abuja Federal High Court ordered the army to grant Idakpini immediate access to his lawyer and family after human rights lawyer, Mr Tope Akinyode, argued an exparte.
Justice A.I Chikere held that it is a continuous breach of the detained soldier’s fundamental human rights to be denied access to his lawyer and family.
However, Akinyode, also the National President of Revolutionary Lawyers’ Forum, said the army had refused to grant him access to his client despite being served copies of the court processes.
Akinyode said, “We wrote the AGF and Chief of Army Staff to notify them of the court order. I also called the AGF on phone and he assured me the court order would be obeyed. But myself and Lance Corporal Martins’ wife visited the army headquarters thrice to see my client but we were blocked.”
Akinyode, who vowed to resist the move by the army, said the refusal of the Nigerian Government to obey court orders positions the country for ridicule in the global community.