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Court orders reinstatement of dismissed soldier

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A National Industrial Court sitting in Abuja has ordered the reinstatement of a dismissed soldier, Cpl. Tajudeen Ajala, in the Nigerian Army.

Justice Isaac Essien who also awarded N500,000 to the soldier in general damages, said the Nigerian army erred in law by imposing a sentence of reduction in rank on the claimant.

Essien also ruled that the dismissal of the claimant outside the purview of punishment stipulated in Sections 57 and 104 of the Armed Forces Act was equally wrong.

Earlier on the case, the Nigerian Army disclosed that an investigation was conducted by the Military Police into Ajala’s alleged misconduct.

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The Nigerian army which disclosed that the Command summarily charged, tried and convicted Ajala on the two-count charge, added that it reduced Ajala’s rank for disobedience and dismissed him for assault on December 11, 2017.

While the Nigerian army insisted that the trial and dismissal of the claimant was in accordance with laid-down legal procedures and extant law, the court ruled that based on the provisions of the Armed Forces Act 2004, the offence which the claimant was charged with required that he be tried by a court-martial and not by summary trial.

The sum of N250, 000 was also awarded by the court as cost of action against the defendant.

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