By Franca Joseph (AGENDWATCHDOG) – Maj. Gen. Bashir Magashi (rtd.) and the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence (MOD), Ms. Nuraitu Batagarawa, chairman and secretary of the Nigerian Army Council, respectively, are facing the risk of imprisonment, following the National Industrial Court’s (NIC) granting of permission for the filing of contempt of court charge against them, consequent to allegations that they failed to obey a valid court order.
The suit against them was initiated by Lt. Col. Abdulfatai Mohammed (rtd), consequent to his premature retirement from the military in 2016, together with 37 other senior officers. NIC found that the right to a fair hearing was violated since the Army’s rules require that dismissals be based on indictments, queries, or the rulings of a court martial.
While Delivering judgment against Magashi and Batagarawa, Justice R. B. Haastrup of the NIC, relying on provisions of the Sheriffs and Civil Process Act of 2004 and the Judgment (Enforcement) Rules, permitted Mohammed “to commence a contempt proceeding against the chairman and secretary of the Nigerian Army Council”.