Nigerian Air Force

Nigerian Air Force Implements 24-Hour Detention Limit After News Media Exposes Military Misconduct

The Nigerian Air Force has introduced a new rule to prevent the arbitrary detention of airmen for more than 24 hours. This decision comes after an incident involving Sergeant Zachariah Ismaila from the Nigerian Army, who was held in custody for six months without a trial. Ismaila’s family disclosed that he was apprehended on January 8, 2024, and placed in a cell without being promptly informed of the charges against him.

In response to this situation, the Chief of Air Staff (CAS) initiated an investigation into similar occurrences to prevent any future mishaps. Subsequently, an official directive was issued outlining the procedures for detaining and handling airmen. This directive was distributed to all base commanders, formations, and units within the Air Force.

The three-page directive emphasizes the importance of treating detained personnel with respect and dignity. It underscores the principle of innocence until proven guilty and discourages arbitrary detentions whenever corrective actions can be taken immediately.

The new regulation strictly prohibits detaining individuals beyond 24 hours, except in cases governed by international humanitarian law (IHL). Additionally, a mandatory report must be sent to the ASA every 8 days for safety or investigative purposes.

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