Senate orders reinstatement of sacked Naval officer

The Senate has ordered the reinstatement of Lt. Yahaya Yakubu, who was dismissed by the Nigeria Navy in 2001.

Yakubu was recommended for dismissal by the Navy Court Martial which found him guilty of an alleged conspiracy and stealing of 5, 800 litres of diesel.

The verdict against Yakubu, as contained in a Senate report obtained by reporters on Wednesday, was that prior to his trial, he was thrown into prison in chains at gunpoint for 11 months and the verdict was subsequently ratified by the Nigerian Navy Board.

Not satisfied with the judgment, Yakubu, a 1994 Marine Engineering graduate of the Nigeria Defence Academy, who was serving with the Eastern Naval Command of the Nigerian Navy until his dismissal, challenged the verdict at the Court of Appeal in Calabar.

The appellate court, according to the Senate report, reviewed the judgment, raised areas of concern and rendered the whole proceedings of the court martial a nullity.

The Appeal Court was said to have noted that the members of the General Court Martial violated the right to fair hearing as they did not take oath or sign the judgment.

Consequent upon receiving the Court of Appeal judgment, the Nigerian Navy sent a letter to Yakubu that his dismissal had been converted to retirement because his services were no longer required.

The Senate report noted that the appellate court verdict, delivered in his favour in 2001, did not revert to the Nigeria Navy until 2011, when he petitioned the Senate.

The report, which was signed by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Ethics and Privileges, Senator Ayo Akinyelure, and Clerk of the committee, Jonathan Toruemi, ordered the reinstatement of Yakubu and his voluntarily retirement with full benefits.


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