13 out of the 18 soldiers standing trial for participating in the mutiny (revolt action) against their General Officer Commanding, Maj. Gen. Ahmed Mohammed at the newly created 7 Division of the Nigerian Army in Maiduguri on May 12th have been sentenced to death by a military court that sat in Abuja yesterday night September 15th.
Five others were discharged and acquitted while one was jailed for 28 days with hard labor.
The soldiers had on May 14th revolted against poor remuneration and lack of sophisticated weapons to fight Boko Haram. On that particular day, the soldiers lost their cool after seeing the corpse of some of their colleagues killed by Boko Haram men. They immediately opened fire on their GOC, who luckily escaped unhurt.
The President of the Court Martial (military court), Maj. Gen. C.C. Okonkwo, while delivering his judgement said the 12 soldiers were found guilty of criminal conspiracy, mutiny, attempt to commit murder (shooting at the vehicle of the GOC); insubordination to a particular order; insubordination and false accusation.
Those sentenced are Jasper Braidolor, David Musa, Friday Onuh, Yusuf Shuaibu, Igonmu Emmanuel, Andrew Ugbede, Nurudeen Ahmed, Ifeanyi Alukagba, Alao Samuel, Amadi Chukwuma, Alan Linus, and Stephen Clement.
The legal team of the convicts pleaded with the court martial to be lenient and temper justice with mercy stating that some of the men convicted were the sole providers of their families. One of the convict is said to be the only child of his 80 year old mother while another is said to be the father of a 5-month old baby. The legal team argued that giving them maximum sentence would do more harm than good, adding that it would increase the agony of their dependants.
Other members of the court are: Col. TS Nurseman, Col. TO Olowomeye, Col. IG Lassa, Lt.Col. JK Feboke, Lt. Col. CR Nnebeife, Major I Yusuf, Major TA Yakubu and Major AE Martins.
Lt. Col. AA Audu and Lt. Col. U Ukpe served as prosecutors.