Thursday, March 3

Army Directs Immediate Release of Ransome-Kuti, Hands Him a New Life Line

Army Directs Immediate Release of Ransome-Kuti, Hands Him a New Life Line

Former Commander of the Multi National Joint Task Force, Enitan Ransome-Kuti

A former Commander of the Multi National Joint Task Force, Enitan Ransome-Kuti who was dismissed and sentenced by a Special Military Court Martial has been handed a life line after spending six months in prison.

The Nigerian Army has handed a former Commander of the Multi National Joint Task Force, Enitan Ransome-Kuti, a life line after a court-martial dismissed and sentenced him to six months imprisonment on October 15, 2015.

The Army has commuted his dismissal sentence to demotion. Ransome-Kuti has been demoted from the rank of brigadier-general to colonel. This was revealed in a letter by the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, containing the decision of the Army Council on Ransome-Kuti’s case.

The letter dated March 1, 2016, which was signed on behalf of the COAS by Col. O.N Taiwo, also directed that Ransome-Kuti be immediately released from custody.

In the letter dated March 1, 2016, Buratai revealed that that the Army took its decision to reverse part of the verdict of the court martial on Ransome-Kuti at its meeting on February 22, 2016.

It would be recalled that Ransome-Kuti’s lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), in a letter dated February 26, 2016 and addressed to the COAS threatened a legal action if his client is not released from prison after completing the six months imprisonment passed on him last October.

Enitan Ransome-Kuti was arraigned on three counts of failure to perform military duties and miscellaneous offences relating to service property.

After his trial he was discharged and acquitted on the first count.

He was found guilty of the second count following which he was dismissed from the Nigerian Army and sentenced to six months imprisonment.

The Chief of Army Staff’s letter with reference number, AHQ DOAA/G1/300/197, on Ransome-Kuti’s case was titled, “Army Council’s decision for implementation: Brig.-Gen. E.A Rasome-Kuti (N/8301).”

The letter reads in part: “Consequently, I am directed to inform you that Reference B has conveyed to the headquarters that the Army Council in its last meeting on Feb 22, 2016 confirmed the conviction of the accused senior officer on Count 2 but commuted the sentence of dismissal to reduction in rank from brigadier-general to colonel.

“The council also quashed the findings of guilt and award of six months imprisonment awarded by the SCM on Count 3 and replaced same with a finding of ‘not guilty’. The senior officer was thus discharged and acquitted on Count 3.”

“Accordingly, I am directed to request AHQ to release the senior officer from close custody. I am to also request AHQ MS to post him out of jurisdiction.”

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