Boko Haram Crisis: After 7 months, court grants bail to soldier who criticised Buhari, Buratai

Seven months after his arrest, a military court martial in Sokoto State awarded bail to a lance corporal, Idakpini Martins.

Tope Akinyode, the soldier’s counsel, confirmed the development to Newsmen in a telephone interview on Thursday.

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Last year, Mr. Martins criticised President Muhammadu Buhari and Army Chief of Staff Tukur ’s handling of the in a published video.

He claimed that the duo did not provide the soldiers fighting Boko Haram with sufficient support. Following the video, he was arrested in Abuja and detained.

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Before Mr. Akinyode, a rights lawyer, approached the Federal High Court in Abuja to file a rights infringement case, Mr. Martins was not authorised to have legal counsel for a month.

On July 22, 2020, this newspaper published how Justice A. I. Chikere gave Mr. Martins access to his lawyer and family. He said that the action taken by the Nigerian Army was against the basic human rights of people.

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The army did not allow him to see his family, despite the court order, and the matter was later moved to the Sokoto State where he was to face the martial court in the town in which he committed the alleged crime.

A court martial is like a military court saddled with the obligation to prosecute soldiers deemed to have broken the laws of the army, but they have the freedom to pick their own lawyers, even from outside the army.

Mr Akinyode, speaking to Newsmen on Thursday evening, noted that bail had been granted to the soldier.

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