A military court in Abuja on Monday convicted Olusegun Adeniyi, the former theater commander of Operation Lafiya Dole, who once led the country’s attack on Boko Haram.
The report said the court found Adeniyi, a major general, guilty of violating some sections of the policy on the use of social media by Nigerian armed forces personnel.
The policy was published on June 11, 2018, on the directives of the Chief of Defense Staff, Gabriel Olonisakin, a general.
Section 15 (g) of the policy specifically prohibits personnel from “posting any video, audio, images of materials during exercises / operations.”
However, the court martial found the Major General guilty of producing and publishing a video about the counterinsurgency operation in the Northeast in a way that embarrassed and ridiculed the Nigerian armed forces.
Therefore, he was ordered to demote him for at least three years. His assistant, Tokunbo Obanla, a private individual, was also found guilty and sentenced to 28 days in prison with forced labor.
The Nigerian military had ordered Adeniyi to face a court martial in July, four months after he was seen in a rare video in which he confessed that Boko Haram terrorists outnumbered Nigerian troops.
Adeniyi was leading a large troop of soldiers in a special operation when they came under heavy attacks from Boko Haram.
The commander was seen in two of the four video clips that give a recorded situation report to the Chief of the Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, a lieutenant general.
He blamed the deadly attack on his troops on a “very incorrect intelligence assessment” conducted prior to their deployment.
“Since yesterday we have met with very strong resistance, from more than parts of Boko Haram. This morning, from all sides, at least 15 armed trucks were facing us ”.
Sources familiar with the posted video confirmed to reporters that the videos were filmed after an attack in Gorji, a village in Yobe state, in late March.
Dozens of soldiers were ambushed and killed in the attack. The military initially said 47 were killed, but later revised the number down.
In the video, the theater commander was seen among the troops lamenting that his team suffered a massive loss of men and equipment because Boko Haram outgunned him.
Adeniyi, who appeared in full combat gear, was seen in one of the videos touching a soldier who was crying, telling him that he was not like a soldier crying because his colleagues were killed.
“I know you were crying because they kill your regular … look at me, this is not the time to cry,” he said, as he continued to tug at the shirt of the soldier who was apparently crying.
In another video, the theater commander was seen and heard telling the soldiers that “it seems that the people we are fighting with have more firepower than we do …”
He then ordered the troops to gather all the bodies of the soldiers who paid the supreme price in available vehicles to quickly get them out of the danger zone.
The commander’s shocking revelation that troops in the field are not adequately equipped and armed to fight, came amid claims by the military authority that Boko Haram had been defeated.
Adeniyi in the video revealed how he lost various types of equipment and was almost immobile due to a massive attack on troop vehicles.
In front of the camera and addressing the Army Chief of Staff, the theater commander said: “Good morning sir, I’m here with the Sector 2 Commander; The armed helicopter just flew through our air, the instruction I gave them was that whatever they see moving they should activate it because most of my weapons trucks don’t move. As I said before, the three battalions are fighting as they are deployed, no one is running.
But what we have here, I’ll give you some estimates, sir. Boko Haram has fired more than 100 mortar bombs at us; they have shot us from 80 to 100 role-playing games; plus eight to 10 truckloads of guns firing at us from all sides. We have not run and the soldiers are not misbehaving or disobeying orders.
“We have casualties. I’ll come to see you in person about what we have to do. But we are not running. “
Later, Adeniyi pointed out in the video some of the MRAP trucks that had been demobilized after gunmen from Boko Haram fired their tires.
“As you can see, that’s one of us who broke the bullets, we lost about 20 MRAP tires here. We have changed about 250 Hilux tires due to the terrain.
“This is what we face in the Timbuktu Triangle, sir. We are not running, we are fighting as a system to reduce the situation and achieve its mission, sir. “
Adeniyi was removed as commander of Operation Lafiya Dole shortly after, and Buratai praised him on April 5 for the successes recorded in the war against the insurgency under his leadership.
“Adeniyi arrived at a time when practically most of the floodlights were falling and his arrival marked a turning point in Lafiya Dole’s operation,” Buratai said during a dinner organized in honor of Adeniyi at the Guess House of the Military Command. , in Maiduguri.
“This one; no matter the lapses, no matter the shortcomings and no matter what happened, no one can take that away from him as part of his successes.
“He came at a time when things were already falling apart and his leadership style changed things to get us to where we are today.
“He never led from behind, he’s always up front. That is the kind of leadership that is required and that is an excellent attribute of a field leader. I have always emphasized that you should lead by example.
“So, Adeniyi, rest assured that you have made your mark. You are leaving the Theater, but you will be asked to share the experience you have gathered here. He will be consulted accordingly, ”he said.
But four months after the praise, Adeniyi was ordered to proceed to Abuja for trial. Now he’s been found guilty