7 months after, soldier who criticized Buratai regains freedom

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Crocodile Smile, Boko Haram

A lance corporal with Nigerian Army, Martins Idakpini who was arrested by military authorities for criticising chief of army staff Tukur Buratai, and military authorities over the shoddy prosecution of the war against Boko Haram insurgency, has been granted bail.

Tope Akinyode, the soldier’s lawyer who confirmed the development, said a court martial sitting in Sokoto ordered that Idakpini be released on bail.

“Court martial grants bail to Lance Corporal Martins Idakpini. The court sitting in Sokoto made the order today after I argued the bail application,” Akinyode said, in a statement issued on Thursday.

“Idakpini was arrested for criticising army authorities. He’s been detained for 7 months without access to his family.”

Idakpini had been arrested and detained in Abuja following a video made in June 2020, in which he accused Buratai of poorly managing the fight against insurgency.

In July, a federal high court in Abuja had ordered the army to grant Idakpini access to his wife, lawyer and relatives.

The court had also prohibited the military from further violating the soldier’s fundamental human rights in any unlawful manner.

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