Twelve Soldiers Sentenced to Death for Mutiny
Military authorities last night sentenced 12 soldiers to death for mutiny; four were discharged and acquitted while one soldier was sentenced to 28 days imprisonment with hard labour (IHL).
The soldiers who were arraigned before the Court Martial on a six-count charge of criminal conspiracy to commit mutiny, disobeying lawful orders and various acts inimical to military service and so convicted are Corporal David Musa, Corporal David Robert, Corporal Jasper Baido, Corporal Mohammed Sani, Lance Corporal Friday Onu, Lance Corporal Yusuf Shuaibu, Lance Corporal Emmanuel Iganmu, Lance Corporal Stephen Clement, Private Andrew Gbede, Private Nurudeen Ahmed, Private Ifeanyi Anukabe, Private Alao Samuel, Private Alan Linus, Private Namaan Samuel, Private Ichocho Jeremiah, Private Sebastine Amah and Private Amadi Chukwudi.
However, Private Ise Ubong, was discharged and acquitted, having been found innocent of all the charges.
The nine-member all-military court martial also found the soldiers guilty of insubordination, use of abusive language and leveling of false accusation against their superior officers, among others.
They were found guilty of attempting to kill their erstwhile General Officer Commanding (GOC) 7 Division, Major-General Ahmed Mohammed, by shooting at his official car between May 13 and 14, 2014.
The incident took place at the Maimalari Barracks, Maiduguri, in the course of the ongoing counter-insurgency campaign in the northeast.
The court also found them guilty of preventing the movement of some of their injured colleagues to hospital and obstructing the evacuation of their dead colleagues who were killed in an ambush on their way from an operation in Chibok, Borno State.
The Court Martial found them guilty of three out of the six charges brought against them, which are conspiracy, mutiny and attempted murder of Major-General Ahmed Mohammed.
The following soldiers were found guilty of insubordination and threatening to shoot Lieutenant-Colonel E. Azenda and for laying false accusations: Corporal David Luhbut, Corporal Mohammed Sani, Lance Corporal Stephen Clement, Privates Imama Samuel, Iseh Ubong, Ichocho Jeremiah and Sabastine Gwaba.
The convicted are
Those found guilty of the three counts of criminal conspiracy to commit mutiny, mutiny and attempt to commit murder and consequently convicted are Corporal Jasper Braidolor, Corporal David Musa, Lance Corporals Friday Onun, Yusuf Shaibu, Emmanuel Igomu, Privates Andrew Ngbede, Nurudeen Ahmed, Ifeanyi Alukagbe, Alao Samuel and Amadi Chukwudi..
The Court Martial panel comprised Brigadier-General C. C. Okonkwo (President), Colonel T.S. Nurseman (Judge Advocate), Colonel T. O. Olowomaye, Colonel I. G. Lassa, Lieutenant-Colonel J. K. Feboke, Lieutanant-Colonel C. R. Nnebeife, Major I. Yusuf, Major T. A. Yakubu and Major A. E. Martins (Waiting Member).
According to the Court Martial, “Having listened to the allocution (plea for leniency) by lawyers to the soldiers asking the court to temper justice with mercy, the court martial passed various sentences on the soldiers at about 2:02am as follows:
“The convicted soldiers are Cpl Jasper Braidolor, Cpl David Musa, L/Cpl Friday Onun, Yusuf Shaibu, Emmanuel Igomu, Private Andrew Ngbede, Nurudeen Ahmed, Ifeanyi Alukagbe, Alao Samuel, Amadi Chukwudi and Alan Linus.
“They were found guilty of the three counts of criminal conspiracy to commit mutiny, mutiny and attempt to commit murder.
“The panel sentenced each of the above soldiers to life imprisonment for count one, and death sentence by firing squad for count two.
“The following were found guilty of insubordination and threatening to shoot Lt Col E. Azenda and false accusations: Cpl David Luhbut, Cpl Mohammed Sani, L/Cpl Stephen Clement, Private Imama Samuel, Iseh Ubong and Sabastine Gwaba.
“L/Cpl Stephen Clement was found guilty on count one and sentenced to two years imprisonment. He was also found guilty of mutiny and sentenced to death by firing squad”.
Four others were discharged and acquitted. Another soldier Ichocho Jeremiah was sentenced to 28 days imprisonment with hard labour.
The Court Martial stated that the above pronouncements are subject to the confirmation of the Nigerian Army.
The soldiers had engaged in act of mutiny when they revolted against the then GOC, 7 Division, Nigerian Army, Major General Ahmadu Mohammed, who escaped death by the whiskers when a group of disgruntled soldiers turned their gun at his vehicle and pulled the trigger.
The soldiers who perpetrated this near-act of mutiny, according to various accounts, were reacting in anger over the ambush attack they suffered in the hands of Boko Haram terrorists on their way back from an operation in Kalabalge during which about 12 of them got killed.
The few soldiers that survived the attack blamed their plight on the military hierarchy in the division headed by the GOC who, they said, had insisted that they must return to Maiduguri via a route they had earlier considered dangerous for them to take at night.
Some soldiers who shared the sentiments of the soldiers that carried out the shooting on the GOC said the victims and those that survived had pleaded to pass the night in one of the villages so that they could safely return to Maiduguri.
But those commanding the troop declined their request on the grounds that the GOC wanted them back to Maiduguri at all cost, a soldier who pleaded anonymity had said.