Nigerian military sentences another 4 soldiers to death for mutiny

FILE PHOTO: The soldiers sentenced to death for mutiny in September 2014
FILE PHOTO: The soldiers sentenced to death for mutiny in September 2014

The Nigerian military court-martial sitting in Abuja has sentenced another group of four soldiers, accused of mutiny, to death by firing squad.

The court delivered its judgment Wednesday night in another case involving five soldiers.

Bankole Taiwo (lance corporal), Ayodele Olawale (lance corporal), Isaiah Olofu (lance corporal) and Adebayo Gbenga (private) were convicted and sentenced to death while Sule Ochehepo (lance corporal) was discharged and acquitted.

According to a source familiar with the trial, “the allegation against the soldiers was that they asked “inciting questions” from their Commanding Officer of 81 Batallion when he addressed them on September 14, 2013.

“The questions pertained to the corpses of some of their colleagues brought to the camp after they were killed by the Boko Haram terrorists due to lack of weapons. The charge of mutiny was that the 5 soldiers “incited soldiers of 81 Bn to mutiny against the authority of 7 Division of Nigerian Army”.

They pleaded double jeopardy that they had been tried summarily by their commanding officer, convicted and sentenced and that they had served the punishment, our source said.

“The record of proceedings of the earlier trial was tendered and admitted in evidence by the court-martial. But the court-martial headed by Brig-General M.S Yusuf did not consider the defence of the soldiers,” the source added.

Altogether, 71 soldiers have been sentenced to death for protesting alleged non-payment of salaries and allowances and failure of the authorities to provide equipment to confront the well-equipped Boko Haram troops.

Hundreds of other soldiers are currently awaiting trial in Abuja, Jos and Lagos for mutiny, negligence and cowardice and allied offences. They are due to be arraigned after the Christmas vacation.

The judgment on the five soldiers came just about a week after another batch of 54 soldiers were condemned to death for refusing to fight the deadly Boko Haram sect.

The 54 soldiers belonged to the 111 Special Forces battalion attached to the 7 division of the army in Maiduguri. They are to die by firing squad, the military court ruled last week.

The soldiers were accused of disobeying a direct order from superior officers to take part in an operation aimed at dislodging Boko Haram terrorists from Delwa, Bulabulin and Damboa in Borno State.

The soldiers said they refused to take part in the operation because the Army did not provide them with the required combat and support equipment needed for such operations.

Also, in September, 12 soldiers were sentenced to death by firing squad for shooting at a car conveying their commanding officer, Ahmed Mohammed, a Major General.

The attack occurred May 14 at the army’s 7 Division, Maimalari Barracks in Maiduguri, headed at the time by Mr. Mohammed.

Others were also sentenced to life in jail for criminal conspiracy and attempt to commit murder.

The soldiers revolted after some of their colleagues were ambushed and killed by Boko Haram extremists, an attack they blamed their commander for.

Yet, more soldiers remain on trial for their conducts in the fight against the extremist sect, and face being sentenced to death.

On Tuesday, another batch of 118 soldiers were transported from Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, to face charges in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

It is not clear when the troops would be arraigned before the military court, but our sources said unlike their colleagues who were convicted December 17, the 118 soldiers are accused of offences less than mutiny.

Also, 22 top officers, including a brigadier general, are being held at the Ikeja Military Cantonment in Lagos, preparatory to being arraigned for yet unclear offences.

They could not be arraigned on December 22 because the court was not properly constituted.

Their arraignment has now been scheduled for a date in January.

The convicted soldiers, apart from the four that were sentenced  Wednesday, have been moved to Lagos to await appeal, pardon or execution.


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  • ICC Hague

    This GEJ pot belly Generals are wicket, you starve the foot soldiers weapons to fight, you eat their allowances, you kept their moral very law and now you are sentencing them to dead. we are calling all soldiers not to allow PDP to use them for election so that we can have the needed change in our country.

  • Yusuf

    The earlier we send this govt. packing the better for all of us. The way BH is killing this brave soldiers is not enough for our govt. now u want to kill them with your own gun. Chai! wll that bust their morals?

  • Philip Anene

    A COMING CRISIS COULD BE WORSE THAN MUTINY

    “Over the past 18 months, we have not shared the excess crude oil
    account and yet, the account is empty. Sometimes we are told they have
    taken money from it to fund subsidies including subsidy on kerosene but your
    royal highnesses, there is nowhere in your various domains where kerosene is
    sold for N50. So in the name of subsidy, large sums of money are being stolen.

    Things are tough now around the country because the Federal
    Government mismanaged our national resources and what is being stolen, nobody
    agrees it is being stolen. What is arguable is who is responsible for this
    stealing. Now oil price has dropped to $60 and because we have not saved, the
    naira is undergoing devaluation. Already as low as N180 per dollar and I
    believe by February when the elections are over, nobody is going to want to
    hold the naira. Wherever the election goes, I expect that the naira will hit
    over N200 per dollar.

    The inflationary consequence of that is prices of everything will go up and
    part of the vicious cycle of the devalued Naira in the manner that is being done
    is that the price of petroleum products imported in dollars will go up in Naira
    and government will be asking people who are already poor to pay more money
    for petroleum products. I see this vicious cycle setting in and people are likely to
    get poorer and that will lead to more tension and we already have our fair share
    of insecurity. The year that is coming (2015) is going to be a very tough one.”.

    • Guguru

      Nice analysis.

    • kkk

      Good analytical forecast.I share your concern.Pity though they are too preoccupied with desperaton to win the 2015 elections hence your warning will as usual fall on deaf ears.

      • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

        Courtesy of Mr. Oshiomole.

  • Garden-City Boy

    That is not going to happen. Try it and find out whether we own this army or if it is the army that owns us.Have we not splilled enough Southern blood on the altar of awusa appeasement? These people want Boko Haram and they got it. Why dont anybody leave us alone and let them deal with what they brought upon themselves? When will enough be enough?

    • Baba

      Enought will be enought when the failed PDP led FG is kicked out of office for tribalist like you who think like boko haram to be rightly place where they belong by a no nosense man call BUHARI.

  • Guguru

    Why fight Boko Haram in the northeast when the real enemies of Nigeria are in Aso Rock?

  • Smith Scott

    Only Sule – a northerner was discharged. All other four are timid Yariba. Their norther slave master who control the army never pity the Yariba on the ground that they have serve them enough. Yariba is being punished by his Hausa master on why he is too timid. Soo Buhari will punish his slave kid Theifnubu for being stup*d.

    • kkk

      You are a goat and wil ever remain so for the rest of your miserable life.

  • Chichi Girl

    Thank u thank u thank u. Bank workers are worse than slaves.i read all the crap the public wrote about the zenith bank staff kneeing down in front of the governor. Let me tell you, kneeing down for customers is part of our job description. You can be subjected to worse