Welcome to our live updates on Nigerian Army Court-Martial of Major General Hakeem Otiki over alleged N400million theft ongoing in the nation’s capital, Abuja.
Major General Hakeem Otiki is a former General Officer Commanding (GOC) 8 division.
Major-General Otiki is wheeled into the command officer’s mess. This is premises of the court marshal.
Journalists were prevented from taking close shots of him.
The general is undergoing medical examination but it is not clear why.
The panel of the court-martial arrives at the venue.
Okechukwu Adinu appears for General Otiki. He asked that the General be allowed to sit throughout the trial.
Lieutenant General Lamidi Adeosun is the President of the tribunal.
Five soldiers were confirmed to have stolen the money while on escort duty from Sokoto to Kaduna State in the first week of July.
The former GOC had reportedly asked the soldiers to escort the money and deliver it to a Very Important Personality (VIP) in Kaduna.
The defendant objected to General Adeosun as President of the Tribunal because he feels he will not get a fair trial under the leadership of General Adeosun.
According to him, the President of the Court Martial and the defendant have a long-standing grudge.
Lawyer to the defendant says it’s a fact that the defendant conducted several operations that were directly under the office of the President of the Court Marshal, General Adeosun which are operations that will come up during the trial making the president an interested party.
He also says that the defendant inherited the soldiers that were under the command of the President when he was in charge of division 8.
The lawyer added that as such, there is no way the soldiers and the operations and their days in the Nigeria Defence Academy (NDA) will not come up in the trial.
He, therefore, asked the president to recuse himself from the trial.
Journalists were sent out from continued hearing of the trial.
As at this time, it is not clear yet whether the President of the court marshal, Adeosun will recuse himself or continue presiding over the trial.