12 soldiers who shot at GOC in Maiduguri sentenced to death

A court-martial in Abuja on Tuesday sentenced 12 soldiers to death by firing squad for mutiny.

The court, which handed the judgment at 1.35 a.m., also handed a one-month jail sentence on a soldier and freed five others.

The condemned soldiers are Cpl. Jasper Braidolor, Cpl. David Musa, Lance Cpl. Friday Onun, Lance Cpl. Yusuf Shuaibu, Lance Cpl. Igomu Emmanuel and Pte. Andrew Ngbede.

The others are Pte. Nurudeen Ahmed, Pte. Ifeanyi Alukhagbe, Pte. Alao Samuel, Pte. Amadi Chukwudi, Pte. Allan Linus and Lance Cpl. Stephen Clement.

The President of the Court, Brig.-Gen. C.C. Okonkwo, while announcing the sentences, however, said that the decisions were subject to “confirmation”.

Eighteen soldiers were arraigned on a six-court charge bordering on inciting mutiny against the GOC, 7 Division, Maimalari Barracks in Maiduguri, Maj-Gen. Ahmed Mohammed, on May 14.

While five of the accused were discharged and acquitted,  Pte. Ichocho Jeremiah was sentenced to 28-day imprisonment with hard labour for being absent without official leave.

The 12 condemned men were found guilty of mutiny, which attracts death by firing squad, and also sentenced to life in jail for criminal conspiracy and attempt to commit murder.

Cpl. David Luhbut, Cpl. Muhammed Sani, Pte. Iseh Ubong, Pte. Sabastine Gwaba and Pte. Inama Samuel were set free by the court.

History of case

The soldiers had in May revolted, opening fire at a car carrying the General Officer commanding of the army’s 7 Division in Maiduguri, Borno State.

Major-Gen. Mohammed was targeted by the soldiers who blamed him for the deaths of their colleagues.

The attack in Maimalari cantonment, on May 14, humiliated the Nigerian military at a time the force came under international spotlight over the abduction of nearly 300 school girls in Chibok by the extremist Boko Haram sect.

Official said at the time that the rebellious soldiers were infuriated over the ambushing and killing of their colleagues by Boko Haram – an attack the soldiers blamed their superiors for.

In details seen by PREMIUM TIMES, which first reported the court-martial, the soldiers were charged for attempted murder and mutiny.

The internal memo, signed by the Commander, Army Headquarter Garrison, B.T. Ndiomu, had ordered the constitution of a General Court Martial, to be presided by C.C Okonkwo, a Brigadier General.

Mr. Ndiomu, also a Brigadier General, ordered that the court martial be assembled at the garrison’s conference hall on June 26.

The military court was made up of seven members, two waiting members, a judge advocate and two prosecuting officers.

Others members include: a liaison officer, a contact officer, two officers authorized to sign any amendment convening officer and eight other soldiers who form a court secretariat.

The army accused the soldiers of attempting to kill the GOC, Mr. Mohammed.

The soldiers had blamed the general for the deaths of their colleagues killed in an ambush near Chibok.

Sources had told PREMIUM TIMES that the soldiers were ambushed while on a special operation in Kalabalge Local Government Area where locals on a Tuesday morning killed about 150 insurgents and arrested 10 others.

After the operation, during which some military equipment were recovered from the insurgents, the soldiers, who arrived the operation location at night, were asked to return to Maiduguri.

The soldiers reportedly pleaded to be allowed to return to Maiduguri the next morning, as the night trip would be too risky.

Their request was allegedly turned down and the troop had to drive to Maiduguri at night.

“Those commanding the troop declined their request to pass the night in one of the villages on the grounds that the top ranks at the headquarters of the 7 Division would not be pleased if they don’t go back to Maiduguri that night,” said a ranking soldier, who sought anonymity.

The 7 Division, recently formed, is located in Maiduguri, the capital of the troubled Borno State.

But halfway through their journey, they ran into a Boko Haram ambush and 12 of them got killed while some others were injured, sources said.
The military later claimed that only four soldiers died in the ambush, before it increased the figure to six.
The survivors, in what seemed a vengeance mission, launched an attack on their commander, Mr. Mohammed, when they eventually arrived in Maiduguri.

Mr. Mohammed, a Major General, was immediately redeployed to another command which the military did not reveal.

In its version of the attack on the GOC, the military claimed the soldiers did not shoot at their commander, but merely fired into the air.

“The fact of the matter is that troops on patrol around Chibok were ambushed by insurgents yesterday. Troops engaged the insurgents in a fierce combat and extricated themselves from the ambush killing several insurgents.

“Four soldiers however lost their lives during the ambush.

“On evacuation of the remains of the fallen troops, the General Officer Commanding addressed the troops who registered their anger about the incident by firing into the air,” the military spokesperson, Chris Olukolade, a Major General, had said in a statement.

But in the charge sheet signed by Mr. Ndiomu, the army said the soldiers’ bullet only missed General Mohammed by a hair’s breadth, as at least one bullet struck the rear right door of his Sports Utility Vehicle, where the general sat.

“In that you on or about 14 May 14 at7 DMSH Maimalari Cantonment in Maiduguri without justification attempted to kill Maj. Gen. A Mohammed (N/7915), the GOC 7 div( as he then was) by firing shots on his official vehicle (Command Jeep) which hit the right door where he sat,” the charge reads.

After the attack in Maiduguri, the Nigerian Army arrested the soldiers and instituted a military board of inquiry into the circumstances surrounding their conduct.

The army charged 11 of the 18 soldiers with criminal conspiracy to commit mutiny among others.

The soldiers face a six-count charge of committing mutiny, criminal conspiracy to commit mutiny, attempted murder, disobedience to particular orders, insubordinate behaviour contrary to and punishable under the law, and false accusation.

The charge sheet read that the soldiers inspired other military personnel of the 101 battalion to commit mutiny and also accused E. Azenda, a Lieutenant colonel, who is the Second in Command of the 101 battalion, of conspiring with other officers to kill the soldiers.

One of the charges read “that you between 13 and 14 May 2014 at Maimalari cantonment in Maiduguri fired sporadically with the intent to incite other personnel of 101 battalion against the authority of 7 Division.”

Punishment for the offences under the Armed Forces Act include; death, imprisonment, dismissal with ignominy from the Armed Forces, a fine of a sum not exceeding the equivalent of three months’ pay among others.

The accused soldiers were allowed defence counsel of their choice.

 

Below are the List of charges against the soldiers

Count 1:

Statement of Offence: Criminal conspiracy to commit mutiny triable by court martial by virtue of Section 114 of AFA and punishable under Section 97(1) of the penal code CAP P89, laws of the Federation of Nigeria.

Particulars of offence: In that you on or about 14 May14 at Maimalari Cantonment in Maiduguri conspired to incite other personnel of 101 Bn to commit mutiny.

Count 2:

Statement of Offence: Mutiny punishable under Section 52(1) (b) of AFA CAP A20, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

Particulars of Offence: In that you between 13 and 14 May 14 at Maimalari Cantonment in Maiduguri fired sporadically with intent to incite other personnel of 101 Bn against the authority of 7 Div.

Count 3:

Statement of offence: Attempt to commit offences (murder) contrary to Section 95 and punishable under Section 106 of AFA CAP A20, laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

Particulars of Offence: In that you on or about 14 May 14 at7 DMSH Maimalari Cantonment in Maiduguri without justification attempted to kill Maj. Gen. A Mohammed (N/7915), the GOC 7 div( as he then was) by firing shots on his official vehicle (Command Jeep) which hit the right door where he sat.

Count 4:

Statement of offence: Disobedience to particular orders punishable under Section 56(1) of AFA CAP A20, laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

Particulars of Offence: In that you on or about 14 May 14 at Maimalari Cantonment in Maiduguri wilfully disobeyed an order by LT Col E Azenda (N/10517), 2i/c 101 Bn to allow the corpses of 101 Bn personnel killed in action on 13 May 14 to be moved to UMTH mortuary by preventing the movement insisting on the arrival of the GOC before such movement could take place.

Count 5:

Statement of Offence: Insubordinate behaviour contrary to and punishable under Section 54 (1) (b) of AFA CAP A20, laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

Particulars of Offence: In that you on or about 14 May 14 at Maimalari Cantonment in Maiduguri uttered abusive language “that officers are cowards” with threat to shoot the officers if they did not leave the premises.

Count 6:

Statement of Offence: False accusation contrary to and punishable under Section 94 (a) of AFA CAP A20, laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

Particulars of Offence: In that you on or about 14 May 14 at Maimalari Cantonment in Maiduguri accused Lt Col E Azenda (N/10517), 2i/c of 101 Bn of conspiring with other officers to kill 101 Bn soldiers.

Names of the accused soldiers, their ranks and service numbers:

96NA/ 42/6235 Cpl Jasper Braidolor

96NA/ 43/ 10277 Cpl David Musa

05NA/ 57/ 3451 LCpl Friday Onun

09NA/ 64/ 4905 LCpl Yusuf Shuaibu

09NA/ 62/ 1648 LCpl Igono Emmanuel

09NA/ 64/ 4214 Pte Andrew Ngbede

10NA/ 65/ 8344 Pte Nurudeen Ahmed

10NA/ 65/ 7084 Pte Ifeanyi Alukhagbe

13NA/ 69/ 2898 Pte Alao Samuel

13NA/ 69/ 2907 Pte Amadi Chukwudi

13NA/ 69/ 2898 Pte Allan Linus

93NA/ 36/ 1542 Cpl David Luhbut

97NA/ 45/ 7423 Cpl Muhammed Sani

03NA/ 53/ 816 Lcpl Stephen Clement

09NA/ 62/ 1648 Inama Samuel

09NA/ 64/ 5858 Iseh Ubong

10NA/ 65/ 6912 Ichocho Jeremiah

10NA/ 65/ 7343 Sabastine Gwaba

 


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  • Ahmed Arsenal Abubakar

    Yet, they can’t execute boko haram menace but busy planning to execute gallant soldiers who killed more 50 boko harams along Damboa road. They should’ve killed dat Gen. Mohammed.

  • amazing2012

    Shame, shame and shame we are killing our gallant officers thereby increasing the success of Boko Haram. Shame on that kangaroo court !

    • Wähala

      Gallant in shooting at their commanding officer ba? The “shame” is your rationale…

  • True Nigerian

    Now, watch what this sentence will do for the morale of the Nigerian
    soldiers. Nigeria has become a brainless country despite having some of
    the best brains in the world. This country will pass death sentence on sodliers for protesting and demanding for accountability against those who send them to war without paying them. But the same country will not do as much as daring to demand the whereabouts of the money stolen by top military officers and politicians who carted away the money with which these soldiers would have been paid.

    But wait a minute! Isn’t this the same Army command which repeatedly denied Sahara Reporters’ news that there was mutiny in that barack? Isn’t this the same army administration that also claimed repeatedly that no gunshots were fired by any protesting soldiers?

    From claiming that Bama is not in Boko Haram’s control this army moves into vowing that they will recover Bama from Boko haram. And now more than 4 months after repeatedly insisting that there was no Mutiny at Maimalari Baracks, this same mendacious Army command has just announced death sentence against the soldiers for the same acts they claimed had never happened. Can you see why Nigerians quickly asked the Nigerian Army to publish pictures of the corpses of 100 boko haram terrorists the army claimed to have killed few days ago? How on earth is anyone going to believe anything that this army command says?

    Nigeria is now a cesspit of shame, embarrasment, lies, and scorn in the eyes of Africa and the world. To those of you who believe that those who run Nigeria in this despicable way actually deserve one more day, let alone 4 more years in the leadership of this country; I say, may your lives, home, future, jobs, families, income and loved ones be run and managed the way Nigeria is being run and managed by the animals you support with your ethno-religious idi*ocy. If your conscience is right, the only things you say to this dangerous prayer is a very loud “Amen”.

    • so shall it be

      Amen ! Amen !!

    • Wazobia

      Nice post.

      Let all men and women who have hope in the tomorrow of their family VOTE OUT PDP and their entire team. Otherwise, this “wildfire” will consume us for decades.

    • Bigtin

      Protest by shooting at their …..General Officer Commanding? Wow!

  • OLANIPEKUN

    Looking at the facts of this case President GEJ as C-In-C should commute the death sentence to imprisonment.
    On the face of it they are indiscipline BUT the circumstances was right for the unleashment of pent-up anger arising from unnecessary loss of lives.
    The irony of this case is that the death sentence handed out to the poor guys is not meant for them alone, its equally meant to warn/scare prospective ‘mutineers’. Like the Mafia will say ‘punish one, teach all’

  • Yiljap Abraham

    God have mercy on us all.

  • Reason

    No one is and should encourage mutiny in the military. However the exceptional circumstances of the incident should be taken into consideration. The situation has got so bad, the suspicion in the army runs deep. The army could no longer trust soldiers from the north hence the massive deployment of soldiers from other parts of the country. The northern Nigeria members of the armed forces, Gusau, and Sambo kept sabotaging the military efforts. Muhammed the GOC seemingly set trap for David, Jasper, Emmanuel, Amadi Azubuike, Samuel etc. and their colleagues got killed. How do you encourage these soldiers who are putting their lives on the line for others. The Commading officer jeopardized the lives of his troop by not considering the danger of traveling at night without necessary equipment to see in the the dark. Iill equipped soldiers got wasted because an officer does not give a dam. Others become demoralized and depressed because of the superiors seeming non challant attitude and reacted. These guys are humans for Christ sake. So please temper justice with mercy. BIKO.

    • BABAZARIA

      Truth is bitter but must be told. These seemingly “southern” other rank soldiers who protested against their been sent to battle field without proper and adequate weapons were absolutely right in their action. If the Military authorities feel they were wrong, the same reasoning should apply to the GOC who sent ill-equipped soldiers to the battle front.

  • Wise Head

    What would happen to the GOC who was widely believed to be a Boko Haram accomplice who gave the orders that lured the hapless soldiers into a Boko Haram ambush where they were slaughtered mercilessly? He would go home to his wife and children, while these officers a punished with death!! Where is the Justice in the land? President Jonathan must reverse the death sentences and order the release of those soldiers. By the way, has anyone looked at the names of those soldiers fighting Boko Haram? They are either Southerners or Christians!!

  • abujakenneth

    In all these names, there is no Hausa Fulani

    • Wähala

      Because Hausa-Fulani are more disciplined than your average middle-belt and southern soldiers…
      Hausa-Fulani are professional soldiers by calling, Southerners join for the egunje they can garner from serving…
      Big Difference!

      • Otile

        That Mohammed called them to kill does not make the professional soldiers. Are boko boys and girls what you believe to be professional soldiers? Allah no go gree.

  • clairvoyance

    Nigeria nor get soldiers Dem they kill the ones wen Dem get which kind con3 b dis. Abeg release those guys with immediate effect and hang ihejirika the Boko haram sponsor.

  • Jones

    These arm chair soldiers who delivered this judgement in this challenging period have set the stage for mass desertion in the military. Let them execute them and set the country to some ‘Arab spring’. Why didn’t they try them in Maiduguri instead of reclining to their Abuja comfort zone of shameful decisions. They’ve put the president in a very tight corner.

  • Wähala

    When Army Corporals and Privates disobey orders from a Lt. Col. and go a step further to shoot at the Maj. Gen. commanding their division, truth be said… that’s mutiny, a serious offense in military circles. However, given mitigating factors like poor pay, ill-equipment, sabotage that resulted in the ambush that costs their comrades’ lives… the sentence should not be confirmed. Maj. Gen. C C Okonkwo has simply followed military procedures and found the accused guilty, his sentence of death should be commuted to live in prison pending the end/outcome of the war against terrorism. This is no time to be shooting soldiers we need in our efforts to contain terrorists, the men should be dismissed like Azazi was dismissed from the Army after he was caught stealing armory for ND terrorist… firing squad was not logical then, is not now. Morale of soldiers still in the fight will fall…

    • Inah Etemfa

      On this issue, your comment is highly objective and reasonable. I agree totally with you. Thanks alot.

      • Otile

        Don’t thank him yet, before midnight he will change his position three times.

    • Otile

      You are always defending your Hausa Fulani uncles belonging to high ranking officers and elite squad at the detriment of young fighting soldiers. What are you doing on the sideline, why not move in and defend your Hausa tribesmen at the war front? The boys should not suffer any imprisonment for protesting the treachery and sabotage from their Hausa Fulani high commanders. They should rather be compensated for the harm done them by your uncles misleading them. No justice no peace.

  • Psalm 35

    GEJ as the C – in – C with overruling powers must ensure NONE of those soldier lose a single strand of hair. The Boko Haram GOC should be the one facing court marshal and not the innocent soldiers whose back were pushed to the wall. Aides of GEJ reading these comments must impress it on GEJ to set these soldiers completely free, any attempt to kill soldier who have been sacrificing their lives for us all may lead to what some call ‘arab spring’ besides if a civilian arab spring can cause the confusion it has caused in the world today, what will a military arab spring cause in sub saharan Africa? It is unimaginable. I hope GEJ can listen to this simple piece of wisdom.Meanwhile where is that GOC, I suppose he is hiding amongst his colleagues at Sambisa

  • Truthometer

    The execution of these young gallant soldiers will finally bring Dumbo and his fake generals down. Let them be reasonable, we are not in military era. If the superiors in the military are doing the right things, there won’t be mutiny or whatever you call it. The generals wives are shopping all over the world, with the money meant to kit the soldiers with modern equipment to fight the fierce insurgency in Nigeria, while the ranks and file are dying in the war front with medieval weapons.

  • tsunami1earthquake

    The military authorities must not attempt to kill these men! But if they kill them a very serious underground movement will begin in the military that might result in a military coup in the country. Granted that these men acted along the way recognized as mutiny but what was the reason for this? The military had been accused of inadequately arming these soldiers for the battle against the much better armed Boko Haram. But nothing was done to solve this problem. There had been series of information arising that the Boko Haram had informants from some elements in the military. Such actions could have caused the ambush where soldiers were killed by the Boko Haram. Have the military addressed all these? These are questions begging for answers. The mere fact that the Cameroons decided not to share security information with Nigeria is a pointer to the fact that Nigeria could have been leaking security info to the Boko Haram!

    So, if the military and their commander-in-chief go ahead to execute these men they would be courting serious problems for themselves. If they are intelligent enough they must realize that the military hierarchy and other ranks are watching with interest what will happen to these convicted men. And if anybody says a lot of grumbling is not happening at the moment over this dicey situation then that person would be deceiving the Nigerian authorities. Nobody wants his/her life to be sacrificed just like on the altar of Boko Haram. Yes soldiers are meant to fight, and they recognize that, but when you decide to throw the lives of soldiers to the dogs just like that, then the soldiers have a right to tell you ‘no’ to that. Nigerian authorities must not create an avenue for even more serious national upheaval by executing these soldiers!

    • Psalm 35

      100%..

  • Shehu Mamman

    These soldiers must not be killed. There has never been a history of mutiny in the Nigerian army. They must be spared. That general has to be investigated also. They gave him reasons why they couldn’t but he insisted and put them in harms way. They lost their colleagues. GEJ must not sign that death sentence.

    • Psalm 35

      100%

  • Solaside

    President is humble, shoeless, he will not kill them, he will only remove their boots. 2011 he was shoeless, now he has plenty shoes, but is yet to have a boot! So dont worry, he will not kill them.

  • the truth

    this is a very sad situation on both sides. for the military personnel and their families, loosing someone who swore to fight for his country and to the military if they don’t set a precedent they are open to situations like this in the future. in every country in this world there are two repercussions for mutiny, either by death or life imprisonment. although there actions are condemnable, one should also consider that they are humans too, with senses and feelings, they just lost close friends and associates to insurgents in questionable circumstances and decided to vent their frustrations on their immediate superior. In my humble opinion the death sentence should be lessed, and maybe some prison time. but to people saying they should be let go free are not been sensitive to the intricacies of military combat, at every time you should be disciplined. i know our president would definitely step in to stop this execution.

  • Amoke Sule

    Why are you perverting justice, condemning the wounded and justifying the wicked. Were the soldiers sent on death mission that they were refused sleeping over only to be ambushed and some of them killed? You that you condemned them to death by firing squad don’t have conscience at all. If you were the one won’t you do the same? See the case of Osun State University Students that rioted because of the death of their colleagues which was attributed to the non-challant attitude of the School Authority to their trip that caused the accident. Don’t kill innocent souls of 12 Patriotic soldiers who laid down their lives for others because of a negligent leader that turned some wives to sudden widows and some children to fatherless. Don’t add more to young widows and fatherless of this nation, afterall the man in question was not killed. Give them lesser judgement for their provoked action. With the measure you give you too shall be given.

  • Jagunmolu

    Tolu there are people behind this. Don’t be naive.