Nigerian military sentences 54 soldiers to death for mutiny

A military court in Nigeria has sentenced 54 soldiers to death after they were found guilty of mutiny.

The soldiers were convicted Wednesday in Abuja on a two-count charge of criminal conspiracy to commit mutiny.

Four other soldiers were acquitted.

The convicted soldiers, mostly officers involved in the fight against the Boko Haram terrorists in Northeast Nigeria, are to die on stakes, by firing squad.

The soldiers, attached to the 7 Division, Nigerian Army in Maiduguri include two Corporals, Cpl, nine Lance Corporals, LCpl and 49 Private soldiers.

The charge sheet said the soldiers conspired to commit mutiny against the authorities of the 7 Division on August 4, at the Mulai Primary School camp, opposite AIT Maiduguri, Borno State.

The soldiers are the second batch of Nigerian soldiers condemned to death by Nigerian Military courts for mutiny.
The trial of the soldiers began on October 15 on allegations they disobeyed orders to join operations against the extremist group, Boko Haram.

All the accused soldiers pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The prosecutor, J.E. Nwosu, an army Captain, alleged that the accused soldiers had on August 4, in Maiduguri, refused to join the 111 Special Forces Battalion troops, commanded by Timothy Opurum, a Lieutenant Colonel for an operation.

Mr. Nwosu said the operation was meant to recapture Delwa, Bulabulin and Damboa in Borno State from the Boko Haram terrorists.

According to him, the offence is punishable under Section 52(1) (a) of the Armed Forces Act Cap A20 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

The prosecution called the commander of the 111 Special Forces, Lt.-Col. Opurum, as one of the witnesses.
The statement of the commander was admitted by the court and marked Exhibit P1.

Mr. Opurum, in his testimony in October, said the Special Forces were tasked with advancing to recapture Delwa to clear the way for other battalions to pass through to recapture Babulin and Damboa from the insurgents.

He said he took off for the operation with only four officers and 29 soldiers as “tasked” after majority of the 174 soldiers in the unit refused to join the operation.

The witness said after he took charge of the Special Forces, he addressed and assured them that they could achieve the task given to them.

He, however, said the soldiers were “hesitant to partake in the operation” in spite of the assurances.

Under cross examination by Femi Falana, who represented the accused soldiers, Mr. Opurum said 47 of the soldiers who initially refused, later re-joined the forces for another operation.

Mr. Opurum said the 47 soldiers joined, after he called for reinforcement, as they came under attack from terrorists, who out-numbered them and had superior weapons.

Asked if the soldiers refused to fight or refused to join the operation because of lack of superior weapons, he said all units in the North-East had requested for weapons.

On the disciplinary measure taken against the 47 soldiers, who initially refused, he said the process for that was to begin when they were court-martialled.

Mr. Falana in an oral application asked to the court for the record of weapons recovered from the 47 soldiers, when they initially refused to join the operations.

The President of the Court, Brig.-Gen. Mohammed Yusuf, said the application had been noted “for action’’.
The General Court Martial was inaugurated on October 2 to try 97 soldiers, including 15 senior officers for mutiny.


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  • Chris1408

    Na wao, poor soldiers, Boko Haram go kill them, their own government wan kill them. Yet they are poorly paid and lack functional equipment.

    • umolu

      Don’t mind them. It is easier for Jonathan to pardon his former thieving boss than to give clemency to a group of so called mutiny soldiers.

  • Sword of Damocles

    It would be tragic to execute ANY of the 54 soldiers. We are not under military rule, the penalty for mutiny should not be capital under a civilian govt. Prison sentences are enough. When the Nigerian Government starts executing public officers for looting the treasury, THEN they can shoot soldiers for mutiny. Imagine that, politicians steal & loot from their own country and they are not SHOT like the DOGS they are, yet they want to kill soldiers for mutiny because they are afraid that they may one day be overthrown. BRAINS….. urgently needed at the Center in Nigeria.

  • Oleku

    PT ungag us–stop the attack on my freedom of speech and expression

    • Wähala

      Then, make sense and maybe… I will see what I can do for you. Warned you about multi-posting with different handles yet, not making sense with any comments. Grow up, act mature… and the door will be opened unto you!

      • Oleku

        I know to you making sense you mean I say Imam Buhari is a good man, Imam must defeat dumbo, Imam will bring the desired change but you know that’s not happening–the only change Imam can bring is the law of sharia which he has vowed to implement across the country–and to hijack my oil wells and share among himself and the old scallywags in the janjaweeds progressives

  • 100%Black

    You want them to go and fight without the right weapons while politicians are stealing money

  • Debekeme

    No soldier should face the firing squad unless we are first ready to extend such firm sentence to politicians who have ruined this country.

    With so much decay in every sector, its the military you want to start the reform of nigeria from abi?

    Start from the politicians and start the killing from there. The Soldiers will willingly die by firing squad if you are willing to also deal same blow to the bastards in power who are ruining this country.

  • tundemash

    The remaining soldiers in the Nigerian army ought to realise the “stick being used to beat these ones will also be used for them someday in the future” if they don’t act now and turn their guns on the pot-belly, coward fat boys’ scout generals in abuja and their politician collaborators. Enough is enough ….. you can’t embezzle money meant for weapons and expect soldiers to go and face superior fire power with lesser weapons. Americans on ground here said as much !!!!

  • tsunami1earthquake

    These military courts must be careful the way they handle these cases. A court must look at two sides of the story. Were these soldiers armed with inferior weapons? At least the commanding officer had alluded to that. You cannot detail an employee to do a job with a dangerous tool or a tool that would be ineffective for the job. The Nigerian state must have to explain why it cannot provide soldiers with appropriate weapons. I remember the Chief of Army Staff saying sometime ago that soldiers in this situation must have to obey first before complaint! I wonder what this COAS meant by that? If the soldiers obeyed and died how would they complain? Let’s not place reason on its head, please.

  • Ralia Ahmad

    please temper justice with mercy. Don’t kill this innocent people cos it might turn out to be a catastrophe for the ogas.

    • umolu

      There is no need to plead for mercy for those soldiers. The thieving generals or whatever they call themselves had the opportunity to be noble but choose to be a bunch of crooks; what do they expect? Even those that died on active duty won’t have their entitlement paid to their next of keen.Can they send their own kids with bare hands to go and confront the insurgents? They should bury their heads in shame, shoulders full of brass but nothing to show for it.You guys got to lead by examples. What did they do with the billions of dollars of the defense budget? The new alternative should dismiss the entire military and put in place a decent and a well equipped military

  • Wähala

    How about their Commander-in-Chief who has refused to visit frontline or even wounded soldiers in the war front?
    What happened to the, “equal justice under the law” mantra in “blind” Lady Justice’s equilibrium of judicial scales??
    If the Commander@theTop is a sworn coward who cannot even visit home because a local terrorist threatened to pop a balloon if he shows up, then justice denied in that case is what transcended to the commanders in the war front thus, making this judgment unfair and unequal disbursement of justice. Dumbo must be lined before all his Tombo Generals and shot according to the same section of Army Laws… before the “remaining justice” is distributed among these poor soldiers according to rank & file. Afterall, even their COAS ran away rather than defend his own village, what’s that called if not cowardice… Nonsense!

  • _Proudly Niger Deltan

    Why Buhari & Yemi should forget about Presidency

    Contribution to National Treasury
    South = 62%
    North = 0%
    East = 34%
    West = 4%
    (Total = 100%)

    Occupation of Presidency (Percentage expressed in terms of no of years in Government)
    South = 7.4% (i.e., 4/54yrs)
    North = 72.2% (i.e., 39/54yrs)
    West = 20.4% (i.e., 11/54yrs)
    East = 0.0% (i.e., 0/54yrs)
    (Total= 100%)

    Buhari is bringing Nothing to presidency and the unknown Yemi guy is bringing nothing too. They are both current & contiguous liabilities as the research figures above indicate. Poor elements like these should better wake up from their dream of hoping to steal & control my resources. Never again.

  • _Proudly Niger Deltan

    Comparatively, if we were to juxtapose the offense of these Soldiers and the criminality of Farouk De Dollar and Otedola, who would you prefer faces the firing squad? The Soldiers or Otedola and Farouk? For me, I would emphatically chose Farouk & Otedola to face the firing squad.

    Please send in your votes/replies.

    • tundemash

      GEJ for embezzling $20b at a go !
      GEJ for legalizing corruption ak.a mere stealing

      • _Proudly Niger Deltan

        GEJ na person name? …Shebi your eyes don clear? When did corruption become stealing? daft as you are you still do not understand what Dr Jonathan meant when he opined that corruption and stealing are not the same thing. …Ok, I will explain to you. Do you remember Kashimawo Abiola? Do you remember the missing millions in ITT? Do you remember Fela’s song? ITT = International Thief Thief? Do you remember?????…Yes! But it was not stealing bcos he was an Oloye…and he was referred to as a ‘Business Mogul’. ‘Business Tycoon’, ‘Business Hurricane’ …and if you like, ‘Business Tsunami’. But thief na thief.

        …Only Fela and few others were shouting. …that was the first million Naira fraud in Nigeria…OBJ was part of it…and from then on, it became cultural…and graduated to an incurable blight. So, corruption is not stealing is meant to describe your attitude towards your own who stole public money and mismanaged funds, but became a hero…I guess your bodi don cool down now. Orhue!

        • tundemash

          mumbo jumbo dumbo !!!!!

  • Isaac Azor

    Are the military laws only applicable to the Non – commissioned officers? Please don’t shed the blood of these young officers! We are surely heading for total chaos that will serve only the interest and as a plus for the Boko Haram insurgency.

  • sammyctu ode

    We Nigerians don’t believe in all these kangaroo military courts which are doctored from the top. Before all these fine soldiers are executed, we want to see that all the top military high ranking officers declare all their assests and bank accounts. Also, we want to see details of all the monies that has been released to prosecute boko haram, the weapons they bought and other expenses. After all these are revealed then Nigerians can decide whether these soldiers should die or not.

  • ’70

    Instead of sentencing BH to death the Nigerian Army is sentencing it’s own…

  • rosemary

    God help dis nation

  • Bidemi Lukman

    GEJ gov may decide to kill all members of NA but the killing should be after 2015 election when Buhari might have motivated same soldiers to crush BH

  • armydicked

    Soldiers will not fight for corrupt officers & leaders. This is a historical fact. 60 thousand Iraqi soldiers recently melted before a group of rag-tag militiamen calling themselves ISIL. They abandoned their tanks and heavy weapons agaist untrained volunteers armed with nothing but a Koran and an AK 47. Three of the generals showed up to work in Baghdad expecting to get paid? They should have been shot!!!
    Nigeria is the greatest Kleptocracy the world has ever known—it has no peer. Everyone is skimming oil money from Goodluck on down. I want to know about the soldiers FOOD. Are the officers eating the SAME food or are they skimming those funds too?

  • shinesunny65

    The funniest part is that these generals who orders soldiers to battlefield are scareof going there.WHY ARE OFFICERS NOT ONTHE LIST OF SOLDIERS THAT ARE SENTENCE TO DEATH?tHEY ONLY GO TO DOCOURSES ABROADAND COME BACK TO BE PRMOTED.Can the courtmartialist go to sambisa forest?

  • shinesunny65

    The funniest part is that these generals who orders soldiers to
    battlefield are scareof going there.WHY ARE OFFICERS NOT ONTHE LIST OF
    COME BACK TO BE PROMOTED.Can the courtmartialist go to sambisa forest TO FIGHT?

  • josvinco

    Being a soldier is not to mount road blocks. This is the time the nation needs her gallant sons to defend the motherland. I wonder what were their orientations? It is in the same vein about the Police. Running to be house boys and girls of highly placed individuals is not it or mounting road blocks to extort monies from the public. Lack of enough intelligence gathering by the police is responsible for the insecurity in the country. And those who fill the police and army are camps away from unemployment.

  • igbiki

    A living rat is greater than a dead lion. I thank God for your lives and you all are not dead till someone fires you any squad. And they are not firing any squad yet. In thr mean time you go dey for koti dey mark time and enjoy free food