Nigerian senate says soldiers sentenced to death for mutiny deserve to die

The Nigerian Senate on Tuesday said it would not plead with the Nigerian Army to spare the lives of 12 soldiers recently sentenced to death for mutiny.

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Defence, George Sekibo, said this in Abuja after a closed-door meeting with the nation’s service chiefs.

The service chiefs were led to the high-profile meeting, which lasted over three hours, by the Chief of Defence Staff, Alex Badeh.

Briefing journalists after the meeting, Mr. Sekibo said the senate was not under pressure to intervene to save the lives of the soldiers because the judgment convicting them was in the best interest of the Nigerian military.

“No we are not (under pressure) because the Armed Forces is established by an Act of the National Assembly.

“The Act spelt out categorically the conduct of soldiers and the way they are to behave wherever they are.

“If you join the military that Act is to guide you and your conduct.

“If you go contrary to any of the prescribed sections of the Act the punishment prescribed for the Act you violated will come on you.

“So the military did not just wake up one day and say that they are going to kill Mr A or Mr B.

“They (military) went through the necessary processes and they found them guilty,” he said.

The committee chairman however said that those found guilty could go on appeal and the rulings from the appeal would be binding on them.

“But I think that those found guilty also have a way out. They can go on appeal and if the appeal finds them not guilty that will be it.

“But for what the military has done, they have done the best thing because you must instil discipline in the Armed Forces.

“If you don’t do so one day all of us here will be sacked and you will not hear of this place again,” he said.

Mr. Sekibo called on Nigerians to encourage the military to ensure that it discharged its duties effectively.

The 12 Nigerian soldiers were on September 16, sentenced to death for mutiny after firing shots at their commanding officer, Abubakar Mohammed, in Maiduguri on May 14.

A nine-member military tribunal, sitting in Abuja, convicted the soldiers.

Court president Chukwuemeka Okonkwo said the sentences were subject to confirmation by Nigeria’s military authorities but added there was no doubt about the gravity of the offence.

But while the Senate believes the soldiers deserve to die, the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, is pleading with
the Nigerian Army to lighten the death sentence.

The Acting President of the Union, Promise Adewusi, made the appeal at a news conference to express the view of the union on the verdicts passed on the soldiers.

The union said that in view of the numerous challenges confronting the military hierarchy, the execution of the convicts would not in any way restore discipline in the army.

Mr. Adewusi said although the convictions could not be faulted legally, the death sentence was harsh and unacceptable.

“We expect that the Military Council or the appropriate authority, whose responsibility it is to review sentences of this nature, should commute this sentence to a more tolerable or acceptable one.’’

Mr. Adewusi said the appeal was hinged on the fact that the execution of the soldiers, rather than restore discipline, “could sow the seed of a major security problem in the armed forces”.

He said that in confronting the nation’s lingering security challenges, it was important that commanders earned the confidence of their troops.

Mr. Adewusi said: “Nowhere is cohesion needed more than in the armed forces, especially in conflict period.”

He urged the military hierarchy to ensure that the ongoing war on terror was waged in a more transparent and coordinated manner.

“We are urging the military authorities to commute the death sentence on the 12 to a lighter sentence.

“As part of the process of addressing the conflicts and crises in our armed forces, we demand that the war be prosecuted in a more transparent, humane and orderly manner,’’ he said.

(NAN)


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  • Chris1408

    Well, the senators needs to share the same fate because they’ve abandoned their duty from day one.

    • OKOROKOKO

      Nigeria Govt/Military has released numerous well known BH members for exchange of whatever… now want to kill innocent soldiers who are suffering in the bush fighting the unknown. Killing those soldiers may lead to establishment of more dangerous sect than BH in Nigeria.

  • kwango

    What else do you expect from a Senator whose corruption is above the law?

  • Wähala

    It is the Nigerian Senate that deserves death sentence for their mutiny on our treasury with jumbo-pay… not unpaid soldiers!
    David Mark et al, are just playing to the gallery with their gra-gra hands off approach. Dumbo and his PDP thugs are again using this minor “barracks affair” for cheap political gains. I expect Dr. Dumbo to commute their sentences so as to appear “caring” with his fake Christian humility going into elections next year… his strategy as usual is purely for propaganda dividend, I dare the army to execute those soldiers and deal with real mutiny of a coup d’état. Fat Alex Badeh deserves a kick in his tombo belle… not just shooting into thin air. Clowns.

  • Amoke Sule

    What is going to be done to the commanding officer, Abubakar Mohammed, who at his order caused the death of orders? God deh o. Anyone that cannot be dealt with, it is God we hand him over to. Both Court President, Chukwuemeka Okonkwo, Mr. Sekibo, and the Senate calling for the death of the soldiers are all death candidates in the hand of God. Whether everyone of us like it or not we are going to die one day, how you die is not important, the most important is where your death will lead you to, for it has been appointed unto man to die only once and after death, the judgement. There is life after death and it is either with satan in hell fire or with God in Heaven. To the condemned soldiers, if it pleases God for you to die that way there is nothing you can do about it, but if not, God will make a way out for you. However, I will implore you not to die as condemned persons, use this opportunity to reconcile with God, repent of your sins and give your life to Jesus for you to be with God in Heaven.

  • Psalm 35

    Those soldiers must not be touched. A word is enough for the ‘unwise’ Senators

  • Garden-City Boy

    All 12 soldiers could not have missed their aim at the one ans single target if indeed they were determined to kill the their GOC. The boys must be let go. Anything else sets the officers and the rank and file in a cycle of suspicion and distrust for each other. You can be sure they will never miss their aim the next time. Rather than create discipline in the army, a railroaded decision that lacks prudence will destroy it.
    There are individuals who have even owned up to the murder of the first military head of state, Gen. Ironsi, A major-general. They did this voluntarily without the duress of a trial. What has anybody done to ask for the trial of Jeremiah Useni, let alone awarding him a well-deserved death sentence? It is only in Nigeria that murders walk free, while the innocent or “would-be” murderers die. Think about that, …..people!

  • redeem

    @wahal and his Fulani ati ibo dance band————————————-we all know they will never be killed-stop back dating history for us

  • King Carlos

    If the soldiers are gonna die for making an attempt on the life of a senior commander, then the Nigerian people can as well sentence our senators to death by hanging, stoning, firing squad and whatever means because the Nigerian senators have caused the death of many Nigerians through their actions and inactions. They sit in Abuja and watch children turn orphans, women turn widows and they failed to take action. David Mark sits in that chair as the senate president, protecting Jonathan and all other corrupt officials. If they have the guts they should kill the soldiers.

    E be like d senators dn dey craze 4 head. The solution to this thing still remains class revolution. We have to let our leaders/rulers know that stealing people’s resources comes with consequences,… I believe this will deter others and quell the notion that public office is an avenue of self enrichment.

    Useless people!!

  • Taster

    We`ve seen this joke before, and this time the senate and their fellow elites at the corridor of power must make sure that these gallant soldiers sentenced to die MUST NOT DIE.
    We are watching and calculating for we know our heroes, the vampires at the corridors of power must be shown that the power belongs to the people.

  • Mamapikin

    These people are toying with a revolution. All of them, from the senate to the local government chairman. They just don’t get it. Let them try it and watch Nigeria blow up. Let no one beg them. Labor Union make una chill. We are watching. Go ahead and do it now. We de wait, we de look.

  • Wale

    The same people that were responsible for the death Major General Ironsi, the then Head of State, and many other top military personnel in 1966, are the same people that are responsible for the death many Igbos (only God know how many) during Nigerian Civil war; These same people are responsible for the death of millions of Nigeria citizens since 1970. These are the same people that has been ruling Nigeria ever since, to top it all, the same people are among-st the richest people in the world today.

    These twelve guys were just trying to send a message, but they sent the wrong message to the wrong C in C. Next time make sure you hit your target; you’ll still get the firing squared, This commander in Chief will not commute this sentence; he’s afraid of the military, he also wants to satisfy the generals, who are interested in going forward with the military court decision to execute these fellas.
    Nigeria will wake up very soon to the sad news of them being gone, mark my word; else, no point in killing future coup plotters. Same rule governs coup plotting and mutiny as far as military is concern.

    • Dan Fulani

      Were the killers of the Sardaunas, Balewas, Akintolas and many Northerners in the East not Army Chiefs now?

      • Wale

        Still the same people.

  • Johnson

    So, what does the Act say about deploying soldiers to the war front without adequate equipment?

  • G4

    All these emotional statements here. You must be extremely naive to think that soldiers will fire bullets (not that they slappef, harrass or molested) at thier commanding officer and think there will not be any consequences. It is called the military not the Boys Scout of Nigeria.

    • Enemona

      Same should be said about the thieves in the senate and the top echelon of the military for corruption. The military senior officers are known to have embezzled so much that the soldiers find it difficult to fight. Has there been any probe on the allegation that the defence budget has not been deployed for the purpose it was meant for? No… why? Because the ‘big men’ are involved.

      Stop nitpicking, the same military code, I presume, is harsher on those that frustrate efforts geared towards fighting the enemy. So, if that is the case, the senior military officers should be hanged first. The military code does not state anywhere that the senior officers can do anything and go free. It is shallow thoughts like yours that have led us down this shameful lane.

      This is no country for the little men, we are stifled all around why the minority small-minded ‘big-men’ do as they wish without consequences. The laws, codes, etc must be seen to apply to everybody irrespective of social or economic status.

    • Adam Noma

      If the military you are talking about is really the one I know during Abacha, murtala, et al, we would not have sink into this mess. Think of it in that angle!

    • Ha

      What about commanding officers sabotaging the country by refusing to adequately equip the soldiers or procuring fake bullet vests or intentionally planning failed operations resulting into loss of our foot soldiers while sitting in their air-conditioned luxury houses? Had it been that these soldiers wanted to kill the officer he could not escape. They only fired to send a strong message about what is really happening. All well-meaning Nigerians are behind these poor soldiers. Killing them is killing all of us.

  • nnamdi

    Am so sad my God save this country.

  • Dan Fulani

    The Senate stole the Defence budgetary allocation and now they want the soldiers dead, what a country are we living in? Let me ask, who told this Senator we want him be where he is today? He should be behind the bars.

    • Honor

      yes to bury the issue on ground.

  • Dan Fulani

    Two years ago the Senate president bought a car for one his girl friends worth 40 million Naira and she rejected it, that it is the one she likes, and now they want the poorly funded soldiers to hang.

  • OLANIPEKUN

    The same Act being refer to here presupposes a conducive atmosphere within which to operate. There is a condition precedent assumed that there will be weapons, intelligence gathering, analysis and interpretations that should form the basis of mission and other factors. If the Army failed to meet those conditions precedent they have no moral right to kill those guys. If they do so they will be committing murder. The worst that should happen to those guys is imprisonment!
    The real mutineers are military leaders like Babangida for the ‘war of attrition’ he unleashed on Nigerian armed forces, weakling them for the purpose of incapacitating ability to stage coups. What we are witnessing now is the geometric effect of that selfish policy.

  • Man_Enough

    From the narration of the incident, it was clear that the soldiers had no intention to kill the general. It will be condescending on the Nigerian army to aver that its 12 trained solders will aim their fully loaded weapon point blank at the general press the trigger and the man will be here today with us mortals to tell the tale. I firmly believe that the soldiers only showed their grievance in their strange and peculiar way. If anything, they should be sentenced for complaining and wasting Nigeria’s bullets, which I do not think will amount to summary execution.

    • Chris1408

      Unfortunately they are not trained, and probably too dumb to be trained. The best hands are not running the affairs or employed by the government. It’s always the case of “Who know man”. To get into any government establishment in Nigeria, you must know somebody, including the military. Thus the best are never employed, but the well connected.

  • Sekoni Adamu

    I am really disappointed in the Nigerian senate and the Defence Committee chairman, Mr. George Sekibo.

    The first issue would have been to find the root cause of of the mutiny. Definitely, the soldiers are not mad or insane fellas like most of the politicians parading themselves out there in the corridors of power. These were soldiers that were not well fed, not well equipped, not morally motivated and now sent to the battle field to fight the more equipped Boko Haram.

    So funny, nobody, not even the senate is even talking about the negligence, uncaring and the embezzlement of the funds available for the welfare of the soldiers by the general and the commandant, who was the target of the attack. Not a single allegation that warranted the mutiny was ever discussed by anybody in government as an issue…

    It is so sad the down trodden is not protected in our constitution and we do not have compassionate leaders or rulers in the case of Nigeria to protect us. Neither the reps nor the sanate cares for anyone’s welfare order than theirs. That is the plight of soldiers, I don’t remember if any of them was up to a seargient in rank, the pawns!

    Everything being equal, I believe the soldiers wouldn’t have gone to the extent of mutiny. In as much as there must be deterrence and order, I still believe the judgment was rather too harsh. I wonder why the general was not also tried along with them… Was he not the cause of the mutiny?

    I pray to GOD to intervene in Nigeria and the above matter as the expected hope of a common man to be protected in Nigeria is not in executive, legislature or judiciary… Only GOD!

    May GOD judge all of us according to our deeds…

    • Honor

      I weep for our nation bro!

  • lala

    These Senate house and military officials keep forgetting that we are now in a digital age where their networks and connections can be traced. The anger of future generations will be expressed in an equally inhumane manner on the children and families of these so called ‘people in power’. Time is ticking

  • Victory

    “If you don’t do so one day all of us here will be sacked and you will not hear of this place again” . so I heard the hippopotamus speak yesterday, as if we are interested in the existence of their corrupt rubbish senate.

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  • tsunami1earthquake

    The Senate has not said anything new on this matter. Everybody knows that when soldiers mutiny death is the punishment on conviction. In fact I don’t even see any reason for taking this matter to the Senate for this is a matter that concerns the President who is the C-in-C of the Armed Forces. The final decision rests on the president’s table. Again, the Senate saying that the Military Tribunal could not be faulted in its verdict is nothing new. But, like any arbitration body, such a Tribunal must take into consideration all the extenuating circumstances surrounding this case. What was the reason for this mutiny? What circumstances threw themselves up to attract the action of a mutiny? It is on this basis that the Military Tribunal has stated that, in spite of the gravity of the offence and the punishment associated with it, the Military Council would still have to approve the ruling; and the Senate adding that the convicts could still appeal the death sentence, if still persisting.

    What has happened was very unfortunate and members of the military must not be encouraged to mutiny. But prevailing circumstances that led to this grievous act should be enough to commute the death sentence to a lighter punishment like reasonably long term of imprisonment. In the same vein those members of the military that caused a situation that attracted the commission of such acts must not be left unscathed. It seems now to be a tradition in this country for the Oga at the top to go unscathed in a network of crimes that involves also the small man as in this case, Privates and Corporals in the army.

    • Dr Obim

      Tsunami, I agree with you and Adewusi from all contexts.The 12 innocent soldiers and victims of Boko Haram’s sponsorers conspiracy deserve appeals not in any Corrupt Military court in Nigeria but in an International court for Human rights.President Jonathan ought to step in and commute the sentences.Set these brave fighters and Protectors of many innocent citizens from BH.

    • prettyriversgirl

      I agree with your point of view with exception to them deserving it. They did something bad, but reports have it that they protested having to use that road at night saying it is frequented by Bokoharam who even the military and Nigerian government now admits were better armed (because there are reports stating arms and other equipment have recently been bought). The commanding officer refused to listen and by military laws/procedure they are to follow others. The act must have been an emotional reaction to who knows what other things have been happening prior to and at that moment. Another question that remains to be answered is where was the Commanding Officer? Isn’t he supposed to have gone on the operation with them? If he had faced danger with them and escaped, I doubt the men who have been a hurry to shoot him. Remember, he survived!

  • Usman

    their crime is, they attempted killing one person, the same senate probe billions of pension funds were stolen by few and greedy civil servants and politicians, undoubtedly, that theft must have taken much more lives than perhaps Boko Haram, still, those people walk free, to some extend, it is a lesson to the military and police that kill innocents in attempt to protect those politicians

  • Anietie

    The soldiers did not shot at the so called General, they only shot to the air in protest