FORMER Operation Lafiya Dole theatre commander Major General Olusegun Adeniyi has been demoted after a Nigerian Army court-martial found him guilty of violating military social media guidelines and ordered his demotion by at least three years.
Major General Adeniyi, who was in charge of the fight against Boko Haram in northeast Nigeria, published a Youtube video in which he criticised the military hierarchy. Yesterday, a military tribunal found him guilty of violating military social media guidelines and ordered his demotion by at least three years.
His 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 were subject to confirmation by the military authorities.
Major General Adeniyi pleaded guilty to three-count of unlawful use of social media and damage to service property amongst other issues. This verdict came eight months after a video of Major General Adeniyi complaining about a lack of military equipment to combat Boko Haram insurgents in the northeast 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. Embarrassed by the revelations, the major-general was removed from the front and also suspended by the military authorities.
Subsequently, the Nigerian Army subsequently filed charges of military social media guideline violations against him. Major General Adeniyi had denied any wrongdoing, stating that he did not leak the video, adding that his phone was in Private Obanla’s custody at the time of the incident.
Private Obanla had in his statement allegedly admitted to posting the video on social media in error. Major General Adeniyi’s lawyers have vowed to appeal the judgment.