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The National Assembly gave its resolution in favor of the dismissed Cadets to be reinstated; what has been the response from the NDA and Ministry of Defence?

Unfortunately, a resolution has been given by the National Assembly for almost seven months now and nothing has been done to implement it. My surprise is that this is a law-making institution, empowered by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and it should be respected. The law said that when you are cheated, you should go to either the court or the National Assembly to make your complaints known so that you can get justice and that was what we did. We followed up on our case through the honorable members of the National Assembly. They went through the matter and found the NDA guilty of wrongly dismissing our children. If not because our children are well brought up, by now, only God knows what they would have become. You can imagine whereby you take your children through nursery schools, primary, military schools, and the NDA, and then because of hatred from somebody, they were dismissed after convocation and POP. After POP, my son was relegated, which is against the NDA 2018 handbook. How can a cadet be convocated by the Vice President of Nigeria and you allowed him to go for POP? Then you now called him, because he did a party to thank Allah for allowing him to graduate from the NDA. That was his offense. As a result, the Deputy Commandant, Air Vice Marshall Kaita, went against the 2018 handbook and relegated them. They were relegated to go back to school and do what?

What were the findings of the National Assembly before they gave the resolution to favor the cadets?

The National Assembly knew why my son and 52 other cadets were wrongly dismissed. They were not found guilty of anything incriminating in the case. The only reason the Commandant gave was that my son had ten entries, and the lawmakers asked him what he did for all the offenses. Hon. Kalu from Delta state read the 2018 handbook, the entries found against my son, fell on minor offenses according to the handbook, which was seven minor offenses. So, from the handbook, two offenses make one major offense, and when you put all the seven together, his offenses are three and a half entries, not ten entries. The point here is this: if Boko Haram can be forgiven and given amnesty, what about the innocent children that were not criminals in any way? You can imagine, from 2019 till today, I wrote a petition, but nothing happened to the petition. If the country is going according to the law, how can somebody, an outsider, write a petition against military officers, and nothing happened? My petition was with all the service chiefs, including this current Minister of Defence. If I was lying, they should have called me and asked. Even the National Assembly members asked them that when I wrote a petition what did the NDA do about it? They did not respond. That was why after they demised our children we said we are not going anywhere. I spoke to my lawyer and he advised us to take the matter to the National Assembly for them to protect our interests from the injustice done to our children. The National Assembly followed up the case from day one to the end, and they found out that 15 cadets out of 52 cadets that were dismissed, successfully convocated and passed out according to the NDA documents on the ground, that was why letters were written to the Minister of Defence, the Chief of Defence Staff and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation by the National Assembly to notify him of their resolution so that the 15 cadets would be immediately reinstated. The document stated that the 15 cadets have successfully convocated, got their results, and successfully participated in the Oath Passing Out Parade. Also, during the hearing, the Commandant, Major General Sarham could not produce any evidence at the National Assembly that my son granted an interview that went against the Military Acts, which he is being accused of, rather, they only accused him verbally. But, the evidence at hand showed on video where my son was thanking Almighty Allah for the successful passing out from the NDA.

After the resolution by the National Assembly, have you and other parents made attempts to reach out to the Minister of Defence and Chief of Defense Staff in respect to comply with the resolution? 

We are citizens of Nigeria and we are following the rules and regulations of Nigeria. We respect the law that was why we went to the National Assembly. After the resolution was broadcast in all the National Television stations in Nigeria and Newspapers published it, the National Assembly wrote a letter to the Chief of Defense Staff, the Minister of Defense, and the SGF. We have the acknowledgment copies of the letters which we took to our lawyer, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria. He then wrote letters of a reminder after two months to the Chief of Defense Staff, the Minister of Defence, and the Chief of Army Staff and the late Chief of Army Staff was the only person that responded to the letter immediately.

What did your son tell you was his offense before he and other cadets were dismissed?

He said that after his convocation and POP, they called him that organized a party and granted an interview, so he was invited to the Adjutant office. From the Adjutant’s office, he was taken straight to the cell and locked up for six days for an offense that he was not aware of, but was only told he conducted an interview, in which he said he appreciated God for the successful completion of NDA without any problem. However, in the court of law, no law says you should lock somebody for more than 24hours without trial. After that, the Deputy Commandant relegated him when he had already passed out, which violated the 2018 handbook that said that the Deputy Commandant has no right to relegate any cadets. But, in his case, he was not allowed to speak when he was invited to the Deputy Commandant’s office, they just relegated him and sent him back to school, after he made 2.2 in his grade in NDA. However, it was later the new Commandant dismissed him along with the 52 other cadets without asking any questions.

Since the resolution of the National Assembly to reinstate the dismissed cadets has not been implemented, what is your next action?

We have channeled our case to the Federal High Court. We have filed a case against the Nigeria Military. But, we are going ahead of that because, if they ignore the National Assembly and the Federal High Court of Nigeria, we have sent some of our evidence to the international court of law through our contact, in case they ignore any resolution by the Federal High Court of Nigeria. If we do not get justice from the people who ignored the law of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, we know our way to the International Court of Law, the international law which they must obey immediately when they pass their resolution. So, if we get justice again and they refuse to comply because we believe the Federal High Court will give us justice since we already have justice from the National Assembly. If they ignore the two justices we have, we will go there to file our complaints. We will not allow this injustice to go free against our children. The Commandant went to the National Assembly and said that our children filed out and not passed out. What is passing out and what is filing out? We have the video of the Commandant who passed out our children, when he said that the Army spent five years, Air force and the Navy spent four years in NDA, then they will proceed to Port Harcourt, while the Airforce will go to Airforce base in Kaduna. We also have the video of 2019, when the Commandant, Major General Oyebande, made this speech at the parade ground, and the CBC said that three Awards would be given to the best passing out cadets, which were the Army, Air force, and Navy. So, where did the former Commandant get the information that our children did not pass out, that they filed out?  You know that a cadet has ten entries and you allowed him to convocated in front of the vice president of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, and you allowed them to go to the parade ground to participate in all the passing out activities. That is why God will grant us justice in favor of our children.

What is your call on President Buhari in respect to the quest for reinstating the dismissed cadets?

I totally believe that Buhari is a just person and that is why I am appealing to him to intervene in this matter. I also believe in our National Assembly, that was why we went to them. Since the honorable members of the National Assembly who are from different states of Nigeria judged the case, in which they set up a committee to investigate the matter after the petition committee was initially set up by the House. The committee was given the mandate to go round and ensure that proper investigation was done in regards to the allegation against the dismissed children. From the investigation conducted by the lawmakers, they discovered that the children were wrongly dismissed. So, we are appealing to President Buhari to urgently intervene in this matter. We do not want a situation whereby our children who are getting more matured on daily basis, make wrong decisions in the future. The President has lost sleep because of the insecurity situation in the country, so we must do what we can to avert more challenges in the future. If Boko Haram slaughtered innocent people can be forgiven by the same Military, which I believe the Minister is aware of, what is stopping them from reinstating our children who have not committed any criminal offense and have been given special Military training for good five and four years? In all the entries against the cadets, there was no place where any of the cadets were tried. What they did to the children was that they were in the parade ground, and they told them that they will have an interview with the Commandant the next day. But, the Military Act says that whatever you are applying to Army or cadet, it has to go through Battalion Adjutant, then CBC to Deputy Commandant, then Commandant Correction. All that protocol acts from the Military were not followed, they just told the children that they had an interview with the Commandant, Major General Sarham, the following day. When they met the Commandant the following morning, he came out with the other officers and they gave them papers and told them that they were dismissed. One funny thing they did was that when they dismissed them, they were handcuffed, paraded, and locked up in the cell for 36 hours without food and water, like ordinary criminals. We have the video where they were handcuffed and locked in the cell. What kind of country are we in? If President Buhari is aware of this, he will not allow this injustice to happen, because that was why we voted for this government.

QUOTE

The President has lost sleep because of the insecurity situation in the country, so we must do what we can to avert more challenges in the future.

 


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The post President Buhari should respect NASS resolution and reinstate our children back to NDA – Maradin Daura -NigPilot appeared first on The Nigerian Pilot News.

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