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Group calls for review of sentencing of soldiers

18 September 2014, 21:31

Lagos - Transition Monitoring Group (TMG), a local prodemocracy organisation, has called for judicial review of the punishment meted out to soldiers accused of mutiny in the course of the anti-terror in the North East.

The group, in a statement signed by its Chairman Ibrahim Zikirullahi, noted the speed the top brass of the Nigerian military “tried and punished” the soldiers.

“This swift dispensation of “justice” in the case involving junior officers of the Nigerian Army contrasts sharply with the lethargic manner with which allegations involving highly placed individuals with alleged links to Boko Haram have been treated. TMG for instance notes that all its calls for a comprehensive audit of Nigeria’s defense expenditures since 2009 have been conveniently ignored,” the statement read.

TMG added that within a few months that allegations against officers accused of mutiny were made, quick action has now been taken.

“We do not condone any acts of indiscipline by members of our armed forces, especially at a time when the nation is at war against brutal insurgents in the North East, we frown at the selective dispensation of “justice” by the military, and indeed the Nigerian government. For the public to believe that justice has been well served; we call for immediate judicial review of the trial of the accused by a Nigerian court,” Zikirullahi stated.

Also read: 12 troops sentenced to death for mutiny

“We contend that top brass of the military who allegedly pocketed funds meant to put the Nigerian military in a state of combat readiness, thereby denying troops in battle front the necessary weapons they need to fight a brutal enemy are even more guilty of a peculiar and more serious kind of mutiny against the Nigerian people and the Nigerian state. So too are all the fifth columnists in the decision making echelons of the Nigerian military who in sympathizing with the insurgents leak information and battle tactics to these enemies of the Nigerian. The authorities must be ready to fish these elements out and bring them to justice,” he continued.

The officers were alleged to have shot at their commanding officer due to pent up anger over poor welfare and the activities of fifth columnists leaking vital information on troop movements to the enemy.

The allegations have now been investigated and some so-called culprits were sentenced to death.

– CAJ News


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