COAS orders investigation into state of army detention facilities

The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Taoreed Legbaja, has ordered an investigation into the state of all Nigerian Army detention facilities across the nation.

A statement by the Director, Army Public Relations, Maj.-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, said that the order was in response to the recent protest by some detained personnel at the 8 Div. Garrison detention facility in Sokoto State.

He described the Sokoto incident as ‘quite unfortunate and an embarrassment to the sound administrative efforts of the COAS’.

‘The COAS wants to determine whether it was an isolated incident or widespread situation in similar detention facilities,’ the statement said.

Nwachukwu said that while the service regretted and had gleaned some lessons from the incident, it would not condone the manner the inmates expressed their purported grievance.

He added that mutiny and conduct prejudicial to service order were grievous misconducts, adding that the Sokoto incident epitomised such.

‘The army will go ahead to implement the COAS d
irective to look into the state of all army detention facilities as detainees’ lives also matter.

‘The service shall not shy away from appropriately sanctioning the soldiers involved in the unruly behaviour in its Sokoto detention facility, for failing to exhaust all available options to channel their complaints to the appropriate authorities.

‘If it is discovered they did and nothing was done, necessary administrative actions will be taken against anyone found to have failed to discharge his/her duties effectively.

‘While the Service is mindful of its subjective oversight engagements by statutory bodies, it remains primarily a responsible, self-regulating professional body.

‘The army wants to ensure that every detainee, including those found guilty of aiding terrorists, kidnappers, and bandits, and awaiting confirmation of their sentences, is accorded a decent life until judgment is confirmed and executed.’

This commitment, according to him, underscores army’s dedication to upholding professional standa
rds and maintaining a just and fair system.

‘The Nigerian army appreciates all Nigerians for their concern and support. We pledge to remain focused on the drive to defeat security challenges facing the nation in conjunction with sister services and other security agencies,’ he added.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria