A Major-General in the Nigerian Army, Patrick Falola, got a setback in his military career on Friday as he was demoted to the rank of a Brigadier-General by a Special Military Court Martial
The demotion followed the conviction of Falola, Director, 68 Reference Hospital, Yaba, Lagos, who was accused of unlawfully admitting students for clinical training without due clearance from the army headquarters.
According to THEWILL, Falola allegedly admitted international students from Espan Formation University, Cotonou in Benin Republic between July and September, 2016.
Delivering judgment in the case against Falola, President of the Special Court Martial, Air Vice Marshal James Gbum, said the accused was found guilty of first count.
Gbum therefore sentenced Falola to a reduction in rank from Major General to Brigadier General on count one of the charge but discharged and acquitted him of the second count of fraudulent misapplication of the hospital’s property.
Reacting, lawyer to Falola, Wing Commander Enokela Onyilo-Uloko [Rtd], however, criticised the conviction, saying it was a premeditated attempt to taint the record of his client whom he described as a distinguished medical officer with outstanding records.
“On hearing of this kind of conviction, we know that it is based on nothing. There is no law, no instruction put on the ground by the armed forces that the senior officer needs to take permission from the higher authority before allowing such training,” Onyilo-Uloko declared.
“No such law or instruction was tendered in evidence, but they are saying that he should use his initiative. When there is no law criminalising an act, when that act is done, it does not amount to criminal offence.”
He further vowed to appeal the judgment, which is subject to confirmation by the Nigerian Army Council.