…as court martial acquits Captain

  • Maj, 2Lt in custody of SIB

An Army officer convicted last Friday, by a General Court Martial (GCM) sitting at the Army Headquarters Garrison, Abuja, has disappeared into thin air.

The GCM, which was presided over by Maj-Gen. GA Umelo, had four other members, as well as a Judge Advocate (JA).

Investigation by New Telegraph revealed that the fleeing officer, one Major A. A. Oseni (N12127), was charged alongside Major O. U. Osawe (N/12004), Captain S. E. Amosu, (N/13041), and 2Lieutenant N. B. Dogary (N/16390), for alleged manslaughter.

The offence is punishable under section 105 of the AFA Cap A20 LFN 2004.

While Capt. Amosu was duly “discharged and acquitted” by the GCM, having found him to be innocent of the charge(s), the trio of Majors Oseni and Osawe, as well as 2Lt. Dogary, was convicted and subsequently sentenced to a prison term of 10 years each.

Specifically, the three accused officers were convicted for unlawfully causing the death of 09NA/63/3803 Lance Corporal Collins Benjamin. In military parlance, the alleged offence is referred to as “forward rolling”.

A senior officer, who spoke with this newspaper from an informed position, noted that the incident occurred when the convicted officers were being “matched” to the office of the Mess Manager, Capt JE Akwaraonwu.

The officer, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said they had hardly reached the office, when the “wanted” convict sought permission from the Liaison Officer (LO), one Captain KS Chime, to ease himself.

“At about 071908a February 20, the General Court Martial (GCM) sitting at Army Headquarters (AHQ) Command Mess Abuja, delivered judgement on the case between NA vs Maj AA Oseni (n/12127), Maj. OU Osawe (n/12004), Capt. SE Amosu (N/13041) and 2lt NB Dogary (N/16390).

“The accused officers were charged for manslaughter, punishable under section 105 of the AFA Cap A20 LFN 2004.

“The particulars of offence: is  that they – Maj. Oseni, Maj. OU Osawe, Capt. Amosu and 2lt NB Dogary – on or at about 23 February 17,  at a pitch beside the football field in Mogadishu Cantonment, unlawfully caused the death of 09NA/63/3803 Lcpl Collins Benjamin by forward rolling,” he said.

He stated further: “Findings showed that Capt Amosu (n/13041) was found not guilty and awarded “discharged and acquitted”, while Maj. AA Oseni, Maj. OU Osawe and 2lt NB Dogary were found guilty and awarded 10 years imprisonment.

“However, after pronouncement of judgement, the accused officers matched out of the court premises with Capt. KS Chime (Liaison Officer) and proceeded to Capt. JE Akwaraonwu’s office (mess mgr).

“Thereafter, Maj. Oseni took excuse from Capt. Chime to use the toilet. At about 1948hrs same day, Maj. Oseni was nowhere to be found.

“A thorough search was carried out within and outside the mess premises, but the accused officer was not found.”

As at the time of filing this report, the convicted officer remained elusive.

Meanwhile, Maj. Osawe and 2Lt Dogary are currently under the custody of the Special Investigation Bureau (SIB), pending further action by the Army Council.

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