Ogbonnaya Ikokwu, Umuahia
The 14 Brigade of the Nigerian Army in Ohafia, Abia State, has court-martialled one Lance Corporal Ajayi Johnson, who shot dead a motorcyclist, Chimobi Nwogu, in Umoukereke, Obingwa Local Government Area of the state two weeks ago.
Johnson, who has been dismissed from the army, shot the deceased over a disagreement on a N100 bribe.
The Commander, 14 Brigade, Brig. Gen. Solomon Kumapayi, in company with some top military officers from the 82 Division, Enugu, on Wednesday handed over the dismissed soldier to the Commissioner of Police, Abia State, Mr Eme Okon, in Umuahia, for prosecution in accordance with extant laws of the land.
In a statement, the Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, 82 Division, Col. Aliyu Yusuf, stated that Johnson was tried, found guilty and subsequently dismissed from service.
The statement read in part, “In reference to our earlier press release dated August 10, 2019, on the arrest of Lance Corporal Ajayi Johnson, who allegedly killed Mr Chimaobi Nwaogwu in the Umoukereke Ngwa community in Abia State on August 7, 2019.
“We said in the statement that the 82 Division was assuring the general public that the soldier would be arrested and tried in accordance with the extant rules and regulations of the Nigerian Army, and if found wanting, appropriate disciplinary action would be taken against him.
“In keeping to our promise, the dismissed soldier has been handed over to the Abia State Police Command today, Wednesday, August 21, 2019, for further investigation and civil prosecution for murder if found culpable.”
Yusuf stated that the Nigerian Army, as a professional organisation, placed premium on the sanctity of human lives and would not condone any unprofessional conduct among its personnel.
He assured members of public that the army would continue to assist in the protection of lives and property in line with the Nigerian Constitution.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mr Geoffrey Ogbonna, confirmed that the dismissed soldier was in the custody of the state police command.
He said the police would charge him after proper investigation.