ISWAP, Nigerian Army Disagree over Killing of 30 Soldiers

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Defence minister seeks review of obsolete military laws

Kingsley Nwezeh in Abuja with agency reports

The Nigerian Army and the Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP) have disagreed over the claim by the insurgents that they killed 30 Nigerian soldiers in an attack on Saturday in Borno State.

This is coming as the Minister of Defence, Brigadier-General Mansur Dan-Ali (rtd), yesterday called for a review of “obsolete” military laws, which he said had failed to meet the yearnings and aspirations of the military and society.

A Nigerian Army spokesman said an attack on troops by insurgents in the Borno village of Logomani was repelled, adding that eight soldiers were hurt, but none with life-threatening injuries.

“Only eight of our troops were wounded, out of which four have since been evacuated … while the other four are receiving treatment,” said the army spokesman

But in a statement issued through its news agency Amaq, Islamic State had on Sunday claimed responsibility for the attack on a village it referred to as Lomani.

Meanwhile, the minister of Defence, Brigadier-General Mansur Dan-Ali, yesterday called for a review of “obsolete” military laws, which he said had failed to meet the yearnings and aspirations of the military and society.

The minister spoke in Abuja while receiving the report of the committee set up to review the Armed Forces Act CAP A20 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.

He said the current Armed Forces Act Cap A20 LFN 2004 was an amalgamation of the hitherto individual laws operated by the three services, adding that the Armed Forces Decree of 1993 harmonised the three laws into one for the purpose of command, maintenance and the effective administration of the armed forces of the federation.

“It is therefore pertinent to point out that while the laws from where the Nigerian Armed Forces copied her own law had undergone several reviews reflective of the ever changing status of the world; ours has remained stagnated thus failing to meet the yearnings and aspirations of the serving officers and the society at large”, he said.

The committee in its report recommended the establishment of the “Judge Advocate General System” for the efficient, fair and swift administration of justice in the armed forces by trained military and legal professionals.

The Chairperson of the Committee and Director Legal Services, Ministry of Defence, Mrs. Chibogu Ibekwe, who made this proposition while submitting the report to the minister also recommended the strengthening of the ‘National Reserves Forces Command’ as well as review of some summary findings, awards, fines, and penalties amongst others.