Following what the Nigerian Army described as ‘violating social media guidelines’ the former Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, Major General Olusegun Adeniyi, was on Monday convicted by a military court martial sitting in Abuja. The court martial also demoted the General.
The Army said the tribunal found Adeniyi guilty of violating military social media guidelines and ordered his demotion by at least three years. Adeniyi’s aide, Private Tokunbo Obanla, who was prosecuted alongside the general, was also found guilty and sentenced to 28 days in jail with hard labour. Both convictions are subject to confirmation by the military authorities.
Sources said Adeniyi pleaded guilty to three-count of unlawful use of social media, and damage to service property amongst other issues. The verdict came eight months after a video of Adeniyi complaining about a lack of military equipment to combat Boko Haram insurgents in the North-East went viral. He also complained that insurgents were outgunning troops, noting that intelligence failure was responsible for an attack by insurgents that claimed dozens of soldiers.
Embarrased by the revelations, the major-general was removed from the front and also suspended by the military authorities. The Nigerian Army subsequently filed charges of military social media guideline violations against him. Adeniyi had denied any wrongdoing, stating that he did not leak the video, adding that his phone was in Obanla’s custody at the time of the incident. Obanla had in his statement allegedly admitted to posting the video on social media in error. Adeniyi’s lawyers have vowed to appeal the judgment.