By Sadiq Abubakar
Over 100 soldiers from the Division 7 of the Nigerian Army based in Maiduguri, Borno state, have been moved to Abuja for court martial over allegation of offences including absenteeism without official approval or official leave of absence or allowances (AWOL).
It was gathered that the soldiers, who have been in detention since last month, were accused of various offences including going on AWOL, which occurs mostly when they come across battle or heavy exchange of fire with Boko Haram insurgents.
This act, according to sources, made them to abandon their duty posts and turn their stations to war theatre, an offence according to military law.
According to a reliable military source, other offences leveled against the arrested soldiers, include desertion and loss of weapons belonging to the Army in their possession, which were released to them for duty.
In the theatres where the war against the Boko Haram insurgents have been fought, there was reportedly negligence on the side of the soldiers, whereby several expensive weapons of the Army have been seized by their enemies.
It wiould be recalled that if another court martial was constituted to try these soldiers, it would be the latest case in the last quarter of this year and the third set of soldiers that would be tried for various offences related to the insurgency in Borno state.
Meanwhile, a four-day shutdown has been ordered by the General Officer Commanding (GOC) the 7th Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Ibrahim Mohammed, who is the Chief Security Officer of the state under the state of emergency rule.
The shutdown, which is an addition to the already existing curfew started on Wednesday, the Christmas eve, by 6 p.m., will go on till Sunday morning before anybody would be allowed to move around the state capital Maiduguri.
The no vehicular movement shutdown is aimed at reducing the possibility of car and human suicide bombers penetrating crowded relaxation spots.
The same method was used to manage the last Eid el-Kabir holiday in the besieged city.
Commuters are, however, allowed to stroll about within their neighbourhoods or wards, but there will be no vehicular movement within the city and its environs except for those on essential services.