Saturday, December 19, 2015

Army Reviews Death Sentence For 66 Soldiers To Jail Terms

The Nigerian Army has commuted judgement in the case of 66 soldiers sentenced to death by firing squad in January and March this year by separate General Court Martials.

The soldiers will each now serve 10 years in prison and the sentence is to run concurrently.

According to the Director Army Public Relations, Colonel Sani Usman this decision followed an order by the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, to examine the merit of each case.

The soldiers were part of seventy-one soldiers arraigned on several count charges including criminal conspiracy, conspiracy to commit mutiny, insubordinate behaviour and false accusation.

They were tried and discharged on some charges but found guilty and convicted on other charges including mutiny.

Five others were discharged and acquitted while one was sentenced to 28 days in prison with hard labour.
The case of the other soldiers are still being reviewed and the Army says it will be made public once the appropriate reviews are completed.

The governors’ forum of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) of being “bent on foisting a one-party state in Nigeria”. The forum said through its “puppet master in Lagos”, the APC has entered an alliance with the judiciary to manipulate election results. PDP was reacting to the nullification of the election of Udom Emmanuel, governor of Akwa Ibom by the appeal court. The court ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a fresh election in the state within 90 days. “The nullification of the election of His Excellency, Governor Udom Emmanuel by the court of appeal on Friday in Abuja should worry all those who truly desire good for this country,” read a statement issued by Osaro Onaiwu, coordinator of the forum. “It is becoming increasingly clear that the APC is bent on foisting a one-party state in Nigeria and to do so, it is ready to compromise the judiciary, destroy every fibre of integrity and sanctity of the judicial process through state compromise of the judiciary. “For 16 years that the PDP governed, it respected the right to opposition and did not balkanise the judiciary as we have witnessed in the past seven months of the APC regime. “Let Nigerians realise that the judiciary is being tele-guided by a puppet master in Lagos and state apparatus and this charade like in all things unholy will soon collapse because a peoples will to choose their leaders can never be negotiated or mortgaged out of desperation.” He expressed confidence that “the people of Akwa Ibom state and Nigerians of goodwill will resist the obnoxious decline into fascism as was demonstrated recently in Bayelsa state where the people stood firm against state terror and attempted imposition by the APC”. Onaiwu alleged that that Aminu Tambuwal, Sokoto state governor, had canvassed that it was a national security risk for the oil-rich states to be controlled by the opposition.

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