Nigerian military commutes death penalty of 66 soldiers to jail terms

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

The death sentences by firing squad passed on 66 soldiers in January and March 2015 by separate General Court Martials have been commuted to 10 years imprisonment each, the spokesperson for the Nigerian Army, Sani Usman, has said.

The Army had in late 2014 arraigned 71 soldiers on several count charges that included criminal conspiracy, conspiracy to commit mutiny, mutiny, attempt to commit an offence (murder), disobedience to particular orders, insubordinate behaviour and false accusation, among others.

They were tried, discharged on some charges but found guilty and convicted on other charges, which included mutiny.

Of the 71, 66 were found guilty on some of the charges and sentenced to death, while five were discharged and acquitted and one was given 28-day imprisonment with hard labour.

Mr. Usman, a colonel said following a series of petitions, the Chief of Army Staff Tukur Buratai, a Lieutenant General, ordered a legal review of the cases.

“The directive was carried out to examine the merit of each case,” the Army spokesperson said in a statement Saturday.

“It was on the basis of the review and recommendations that the Chief of Army Staff commuted the death sentences of the 66 soldiers to 10-year jail term.

“The sentences are to run concurrently.”

Mr. Usman said the cases of other soldiers tried and convicted by other court martials were being reviewed and would be made public once appropriate reviews were completed.


The Nigerian military had on October 2, 2014, at the Defence Headquarters Garrison inaugurated a nine-man General Court-Martial to try about a hundred personnel.

The personnel were charged for different offences ranging from mutiny, assault and misconduct to tampering with military property.

Of the lot, 66 were accused of committing mutiny, a crime punishable under the military law by death sentence.

The charge sheet said the soldiers, attached to the 7 Division in Maiduguri, 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.

It also said the soldiers refused to join 111 Special Forces battalion troops led by E. A. Aladeniyi, a colonel, to the Maimalari Barracks for an operation.

“In that you at the Mulai Primary School Camp opposite AIT Maiduguri on or about 4 August 14, refused to join 111 SF Bn troops led by Col EA Aladeniyi (N/9695) to Maimalari Barracks in connection with an operation,” the charge sheet read.

Those charges came two weeks after another military court sentenced 12 soldiers to death for shooting at a vehicle conveying their commander in Maiduguri.

Five other soldiers were discharged and acquitted while one was sentenced to 28 years jail term with hard labour.

The soldiers were also accused of insurrection and firing at the utility vehicle of their general officer commanding, GOC of the same 7 Division, Ahmadu Mohammed.

Many Nigerians condemned the death sentences at the time and demanded a review.

Below is a list of some of the soldiers who faced mutiny and other charges.

1. Cpl Andrew Ogolekwu

2. Cpl Saturday Efa

3. LCpl Henry Shuaibu

4. LCpl James Maifada

5. LCpl Ndubuisi Sabestine

6. LCpl Dauda Dalhatu

7. LCpl Kasega Aoso

8. LCpl Mallam Jacob

9. LCpl Nwonu Friday

10. LCpl Joshua Friday

11. LCpl Anthony Simeon

12. Pte Olayode Oluwasegun

13. Pte Tijjani Jimoh

14. Pte Kabiru Abubakar

15. Pte Mamuda Sywasan

16. Pte James Emmanuel

17. Pte Mukaila Musa

18. Pte Magaji Ahmadu

19. Pte Amao Bukola

20. Pte Wuyep John

21. Pte Oti Kelvin

22. Pte Ameh Mathew

23. Pte Olaitan Joseph

24. Pte Kulukulu Endurance

25. Pte Usman Isaac

26. Pte Ocheje Williams

27. Pte Adila Dangana

28. Pte Sudan Hannania

29. Pte Sunday Godwin

30. Pte Datti Hassan

31. Pte Abubakar Garba

32. Pte Joseph Dauda

33. Pte Chiemela Azubuike

34. Pte Abubakar Mohammed

35. Pte Anagu Mark

36. Pte Danbaba Francis

37. Pte Oton Asuabiat

38. Pte Nwachukwu Udo

39. Pte Ibrahim Saliu

40. Pte Abafe Sylvester

41. Pte Eze Isaac

42. Pte Abubakar Mohammed

43. Pte Samuel Michael

44. Pte Ishaya Musa

45. Pte Ogai Douglas

46. Pte Atim Peter

47. Pte Hemas Okpe

48. Pte Ahunaya Temple

49. Pte Eyaknse Uwah

50. Pte Ilesanmi S.

51. Pte Solomon Ishaku

52. Pte Nasiru Zubairu

53. Pte Audu Daniel

54. Pte Buaz Lucky

55. Pte Muhammed Abubakar

56. Pte Anas Awalu

57. Pte Babangida Jamilu

58. Pte Hashimu Ibrahim

59. Pte Mohammed Suleiman

60. Pte Shehu Sa’adu


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  • SB

    Did you see what GEJ and Dasuki gate has caused?

    • Very Proud Oily IZON Redeemer

      The Moaning Mourners in APC are at their best again——————————-Buhari took money from the revenue earmarked for the purchase of arms–he collected more than 5 vehicles—-with 2.7 billion from Jonathan via Dasuki

  • Romberg

    If we turn on more heat, the 10 years’ sentence will come down to 5, then 2, and later to a presidential pardon. It’s a good way to go.

  • Linus nwafor

    This is truly a government with a human face. Let all injustices of the past be reviewed esp the conviction of Gen. Ransome kuti

  • olu_kay

    This is not a fair judgement it has already been established that Dasuki diverted $2.1 billion dollars meant for arms for these sodiers.How you expect them to go to the battlefield without adequate weapons?

    • Very Proud Oily IZON Redeemer

      @wahala——Another Buharimice–on awol with his thoughts—————-How many weapons has Saint Buhari bought since he was imposedd on Nigerians by the USA? Who bought the weapons currently being used by the soldiers Buhari sent to go and kill Shiite Muslims in the Fulani North-

  • Very Proud Oily IZON Redeemer

    N31B LOOT: Jonathan Did Not Seek Nor Send Anyone To Buhari For Intervention.

    The attention of Nigerian immediate past President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan has been drawn to news report that he is talking with President Muhammadu Buhari and sending people to intervene on his behalf on the ongoing arms cash probe.
    Jonathan’s aides confirmed that there is no such discussion and there no need for it, as President Jonathan’s administration was meticulous and prudent in their dealings throughout his tenure and there is relatively nothing that will cause sleepless night for the President.

    They went further to add that former President Jonathan is now a private citizen and have no plans to engage or interfere in the job of President Muhamadu Buhari, unlike other Nigerian leaders before Jonathan.
    “He has no fear facing any questioning, explaining or even trial, therefore, these fabrications, lies and baseless suggestions of his asking for people to intervene on his behalf is absolute nonsense.

    Nigerians were meant to believe that the former National Security Adviser (NSA) Sambo Dasuki’s trial for alleged misapplication and disbursement of over N31b meant for purchase of arms, but today, what they are announcing are the disbursement of Security Vote Funds under Jonthan’s administration.

    Security Vote Funds spending by Politicians and government office holders like NSAs, Governors, Presidents are used to sort out issues of National importance, Socio-political matters that will direct or otherwise prevent crimes, solve delicate issues not covered by conventional government process. If you probe into any of the state Governor’s Security Vote, you will be shocked the type of names and problems they have been spending these funds on.

    The government must not deceive Nigerians by alleging that they are probing Arms purchase funds, but actually what have today listing of Security Vote of President Goodluck Jonathan, by reading out transactions on banks statements and NSA’s records. Security votes spending are done at the discretion of the officer it was allocated to.
    Even spending by Local government chairmen have never been probed, but focusing on President Jonathan, either to ridicule him in the public, especially to those who now not understand the difference between the Security Vote and funds meant to purchase arms.

    • Rommel

      In civilized climes,Jonathan should have faced the fate he prepared for these soldiers whom he sent empty handed to fight terrorists while he stole the money meant to purchase equipment for them

  • SAM .A

    These Soldiers do nor deserve 1 minute in jail , talk less of sentence been commuted. They deserve to be compensated, apologized to by the chief of army staff & CIC. The people who should take their place are Badeh,Ihijerika and his groups of service chiefs under Jonathan, Sambo Dasuki , Raymond Dokpesi , Yuguda, Bode George and all others who partake in the the sharing of money meant for weapon for this helpless victims of corruption.
    Any other thing than the above will amount to miscarriage of JUSTICE , where the victim is punished and the victimizer is granted amnesty or still , the armed robber is set free and the owner of goods stolen by the armed robber is sentenced.

  • captano


    I am aware of that Goodluck Jonathan stole military equipment funds
    and converted the funds to private use for his presidential election.
    I am also aware that Jonathan’s theft is as treasonable except
    that the offences here charged here had occurred before
    Jonathan’s thefts. I am concerned that discipline in the army
    is going to the dogs. I am worried for the future of Nigeria.
    Soldiers shooting at a a General Officer Commander they
    consider irresponsible, tactless and inhuman, will breed
    and continue to breed in the ranks, despite a reprieve
    granted to these rogue soldiers for clear violations.

    • Very Proud Oily IZON Redeemer

      @wahala the moaning mouner and head of the Buharimice on the web–keep on spinning lies to suit the needs of the Tuaregs from your fathers family-the Fulanis———–Besides the Ibos can continue with their fruitless war against the Ijaw–Nartion but we shall prevail no matter how they try to twist fiction into facts—for the Fulanis and Yorubas———Who purchased the weapons that the soldiers used in killing Shiites Moslem–in the Fulani North–Was it Buhari–Show us one weapon that Buhari bought since he assumed the mantle of leadership via the USA–just one gune that he has purchased from his backers in the USA or forever shut your rotten Ibo mouth–is it by force for the Ijaw Nation to join biafra—? U come here to insult Ijaws then trun around to plead for our support–at night–u must be mad———————animals

  • Very Proud Oily IZON Redeemer

    INEC Manipulating PVCs to Favour Buhari, – Balarabe Musa.

    A political interest organization, Credible Alternative Alliance (CAA) led by former Kaduna state Governor, Alhaji Abdulkadir Balarabe Musa has alleged that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is tilting the distribution of Permanent Voters Card (PVC) to favour areas believed to be strongholds of All Progressives Congress’ candidate, General Muhammed Buhari.

    The group presented a statistical analysis of the distribution of PVCs which showed the number of registered voters yet to collect their PVCs in various zones.

    According to CAA, South-East has (3,287, 530) , South West (7,411,205), South-South (3,844,370) , North-East (2,429,763), North West (4,835,556), North Central (3,907,849) and FCT(421,559).

    On the distribution of PVCs, CAA said it has observed “a criminal gross disparity of voter spread designed to tilt the election to a pre-determined outcome.

    The group insists that all the 68.8 million registered voters must be given unfettered access to freely collect their PVCs and cast their vote as provided for in the constitution, adding that it would be forced to take INEC to court if that condition was not met.

    “Let us call a spade, a spade. There are two main contenders for the Presidency in this election. The analyzed data above depicts a worrying trend. Voters in the zones that tend to support President Goodluck Jonathan are massively disenfranchised by the application of the so-called PVCs debacle, 40% to 50% of voters in the these regions who are lawfully and duly registered to vote will be denied their right to vote by INEC.
    “That is nearly half of the support base of the President, simply nullified by administrative (failure) prior to the election. By comparison, the zones that tend to support Buhari are handed a massive voter advantage, nearly 80% of his support base will be allowed to cast their votes by INEC.

    In an election, which many say will be won or lost by a slim margin, to now disenfranchise 26million voters through a questionable and unlawful rule by INEC is not acceptable by any measure.

    ” CAA condemns in its entirety. This attempt by INEC to undermine our nescient democracy through this criminal enterprise to determine the outcome of this electioneer before the ballot is cast.

    While speaking on the controversy raging over the coming election, Balarabe Musa said there is no way INEC can be able to distribute the outstanding PVCs within the remaining two weeks.

    “INEC cannot meet up with the issuance voters card to all registered voters, even the PVCs is not being realistic because of the past failures in the past. For example, INEC is talking about distributing permanent voters cards. Let us assume that sufficient PVCs have been produced the commission, how is the PVC is still being distributed.

  • Rommel

    They were ready to send them to the beyond while stealing money meant for the purchase of weapons,it will never be well with Dasuki and Jonathan,wicked people

  • Very Proud Oily IZON Redeemer

    stop deleting comments——————-Premium Times

  • Bayo Ola

    I hope Dasuki et al that stole the money that was budgeted to buy ammunition for these soldiers will receive more than 10 years at least? We are waiting for Nigeria abracadabra judiciary that only punishes the poor but canonizes the rich thieves