The Nigerian Army has transferred Lance Corporal Martins Idakpini to Sokoto in a bid to secretly arraign him before a martial court.
Tope Akinyode, Idakpini’s lawyer, made the disclosure on Saturday.
Akinyode said, “Information reaching me right now indicates that Lance Corporal Martins has been surreptitiously moved from Abuja to Sokoto to be tried before a martial court on Monday.
“I’m also informed that the army is forcing a lawyer from within the Force on Lance Corporal Martins in a desperate attempt to jeopardise the case and wrongly convict the detained soldier.
“Lance Corporal Martins has been brutalised and subjected to a great deal of dehumanising treatment. He was also denied food and has therefore developed ulcer.”
Idakpini was arrested in June 2020 shortly after he made a viral video castigating Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Burutai, for the failings of the army to combat and destroy Boko Haram.
Since his arrest, he has remained in detention, incomunicado.
On July 22, 2020, an Abuja Federal High Court ordered the army to grant the detained soldier immediate access to his lawyer and family after Akinyode argued an ex parte.
Justice AI Chikere held that it was a continuous breach of the detained soldier’s fundamental human rights to be denied access to his lawyer and family.
However, Akinyode who is also the National President of Revolutionary Lawyers’ Forum, said the army refused to grant him access to his client despite being served copies of the court processes.
Akinyode said, “We wrote the AGF and Chief of Army Staff to notify them of the court order. I also called the AGF on phone and he assured me the court order would be obeyed. But myself and Lance Corporal Martins’ wife visited the army headquarters thrice to see my client, but we were blocked.”
Akinyode, who vowed to resist the move by the army, said refusal of the Nigerian Government to obey court orders ridicules the country in the global community.
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