Army dismisses two soldiers over killing of Islamic cleric
By Paul Michael
The Nigerian Army has dismissed two soldiers, Lance Corporal John Gabriel and Lance Corporal Adamu Gideon, for alleged involvement in the killing of an Islamic cleric, Sheik Goni Gashua Aisami in Yobe State.
Director, Army Public Relations, Brig-Gen Onyema Nwachukwu, who disclosed this in a statement during the weekend said the dismissed soldiers shall face civil prosecution.
Gen Nwachukwu said the soldiers were dismissed after facing trial at the Headquarters 241 Recce Battalion, Nguru on Saturday 27 August 2022, having been indicted in a report of a Board of Inquiry set up to investigate the unfortunate incident.
“Both soldiers were charged and summarily tried for failure to perform military duties and conduct prejudice to service discipline, punishable under Section 62(a) of Armed Forces Act CAP A20 and Section 103(1) of Armed Forces Act CAP A20 Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 2004.
“Both of them were found guilty and awarded reduction of rank from Lance Corporal to Private and Dismissed Regiments.
“The two dismissed soldiers will be officially handed over to the Nigeria Police, Yobe State Command in Damaturu for civil prosecution in the court of law,” he said.
It could be recalled that the Army had pledged to institute a Board of Inquiry to unravel the circumstances surrounding the incident and speedily bring the suspects to justice, if indicted.
“Once more, the NA wishes to commiserate with the family of the victim and the good people of Yobe State. May the soul of the deceased rest in perfect peace,” Nwachukwu added.
Sheik Goni Aisami was allegedly murdered after giving Gabriel a lift.
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Gabriel, who was dressed in mufti and had his rifle concealed in a camp bed was said to have requested a lift from the Cleric who was travelling alone from Kano to Gashua in his Honda accord car with Reg. No KBT 31 AE upon his arrived at the military checkpoint at Nguru.
It was alleged that Gabriel who said he was going to Jaji-Maji, asked the Cleric to stop before reaching Jaji-Maji town that there was an unusual noise at the rear tyre.
Unfortunately, when the cleric came down to check the tyre, the suspect allegedly brought out his rifle, shot and killed him.
The suspect was said to have dragged the body and hid it in the bush and took possession of the vehicle with the intention of taking it away but the vehicle refused to start after several attempts.
Therefore, the suspect called his accomplice Gideon from the same military battalion and an auto-electrician from Jaji Maji town to assist in starting the car.
However, nemesis caught up with the culprits when a passerby going to his farm early in the morning saw the corpse, a vehicle and some people and alerted the police from Jaji who promptly mobilised to the scene and arrested the suspects.
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