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Femi Falana Seeks Justice For 12 Convicted Soldiers “Attempted Murder Doesn’t Warrant Death Penalty”

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Femi Falana Seeks Justice For 12 Convicted Soldiers “Attempted Murder Doesn’t Warrant Death Penalty”

death sentence nigerian soldiers

Sept 17, 2014 – Death Sentence For Nigerian Soldiers: Femi Falana & Agbaje Call For Justice

Femi Falana Seeks Justice For 12 Convicted Soldiers “Attempted Murder Doesn’t Warrant Death Penalty”

2 seniors lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN) and Fred Agbaje have faulted the decision of the General Court Martial, which tried 18 soldiers for mutinous acts in Maiduguri, Borno State on May 14, saying it was wrong to sentence 12 of them to death.

Speaking on the judgment of the military court delivered in Abuja yesterday, Falana said the condemned soldiers should have been sentenced to life imprisonment on conviction.

But Agbaje called for strict scrutiny of the sentence to know whether it conformed to the provisions of sections 6 and 36 of the nation’s constitution.

“The right to life, coupled with the rights to a fair-hearing vested in every Nigerian cannot be lightly toyed with in any trial whether administrative, court martial or even by the regular courts. Hence to decree death sentence for a citizen of this country without the fullest compliance with the rules governing jurisdiction, fair-hearing or want of due process is a travesty of sections 6 and 36 of the constitution, which provisions supercede any other laws including Martial Laws,” Agbaje stated.

Though Falana agreed that mutiny cannot be condoned by the Armed Forces because “it strikes at the foundation of discipline in the military, it ought to be pointed out that the 18 soldiers were erroneously charged under section 52(1) of the Armed Forces Act Cap A20 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

“Fortunately, the General Officer Commanding whose car was shot at was not killed. Hence, the soldiers were charged with attempted murder, which does not attract the death penalty.

“In the circumstance, the 12 convicts should have been charged under section 52(2) of the Armed Forces Act, which provides for life imprisonment. In the case of the Akure 27, the convicted soldiers were equally charged with mutiny but convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment.”

He, however, suggested that the soldiers might have been compelled by the circumstances at their cantonment to rebel against their superiors.

“Before the incident, the soldiers at the Maimalari Cantonment had complained of insufficient ammunition, food and allowances.

The visit of the GOC was said to have coincided with the arrival of the corpses of soldiers killed in an ambush in Chibok on the night of May 13, 2014. It was the tragic situation which reportedly infuriated the soldiers.”

Having investigated and confirmed the circumstances which led to the mutiny in question, the military authorities removed the GOC,” Falana recalled.

While Falana urged the military authorities not to approve the death sentences, Agbaje called on President Goodluck Jonathan to exercise his power of prerogative of mercy to stall the sentence while the convicts seek redress at the Court of Appeal.

The General Court Martial, which tried the 18 soldiers, had discharged and acquitted five, sentenced one to 28 years imprisonment and condemned 12 for criminal conspiracy, mutiny, attempt to commit murder, insubordination to a particular order and false accusation.

[Reported By Daily Sun]

17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. Kuburat Olasinde

    September 17, 2014 at 3:57 AM

    Falana should try and represent them, they will win the case in saha alau

    • Abdul

      September 17, 2014 at 5:43 AM

      Mr falana shld stand against d injustice’.

  2. Az

    September 17, 2014 at 6:18 AM

    we need soldiers to fight the insurgents not killing the brave soldiers of the nation. biko Nigerian (leaders) unu Abu ndiara

  3. blessedmata

    September 17, 2014 at 6:56 AM

    Attempted to murder not murdered then they where sentence 2 death what of dose bokoharams dat was captured and been released? Pls our politicians of bokoharam sponsors be careful 4 d anger of God will fall on u

  4. burkina faso

    September 17, 2014 at 8:14 AM

    I weep for my co-patriots! Injustice everywhere. No panic my amiable soldiers, God will grant you divine justice. Death is awaiting every living thing. And again, a patriotic death is better than an unpatriotic living. May God grant eternal rest to those soldiers who lost their lives in fighting boko haram and injustice in the country. May God also console everyone suffering because of the menance of injustice in the world. Heavenly Father, let Your kingdom come quickly, please!

  5. zee zee

    September 17, 2014 at 10:15 AM

    thank you falana,i cant just imagine killing those innocent young men like that, if not no youth will be willing to join security personnel again and boko boys will be happy that they are winning is better to dismissed them,may God help you sir

  6. Chic

    September 17, 2014 at 10:42 AM

    God bless you Mr. Fanani for fighting for the helpless.

  7. Akuwax in Mongu, Zambia.

    September 17, 2014 at 10:50 AM

    You busy fighting boko haram at the same time you are fighting yourselves, how are you going to win the battle for boko you riffraffs

  8. ada Mma

    September 17, 2014 at 11:11 AM

    Military has started again in this 21 century killing people like animal, instead of sending them to prison. Do they want to bring us back to the darkdays of Obasanjo, Babangida ,and Abacha.

  9. abraham

    September 17, 2014 at 11:39 AM

    the 18 soldiers wre right for wat dey did cus dey are not send dia to die bet to work for nigeria! God hv mercy on us.

  10. Lekan Feyisan

    September 17, 2014 at 12:36 PM

    These guys must not die like that.

  11. Chiejina

    September 17, 2014 at 3:57 PM

    It is barbaric to kill them, I pray God shells Falana and Agbaje to fight for them and win the case too

  12. Memo Bright

    September 17, 2014 at 4:10 PM

    Of what sense will it make 2 kill ur fellow compatirot? U guys are heartless! God will judge every1 ooo. God ur mercy on them I plea.

  13. Memo Bright

    September 17, 2014 at 4:17 PM

    Of what sense will it make 2 kill ur fellow compatriot? U guys are heartless! God will judge every1 ooo. God ur mercy on them I plea.

  14. Debie

    September 17, 2014 at 5:21 PM

    I wonder wat dis country is turning into, may God help us all. Those who commit d murders are nt convicted, den why try those who are fighting 4 d right thing. It was attempted murder, so they hv 2 consider them. The president shouldnt b silent about this injustice

  15. jekwu bethel

    September 17, 2014 at 6:31 PM

    B4 u praise femi read de article very well. As far as am concern de diffrence b/t death sentence and life imprisonment is not much. Dis guys should have been send off from de force. De person condeming somebody to death can he creat life ?

  16. Grace

    September 17, 2014 at 9:04 PM

    Oh GOD have Mercy on them all. May GOD not allow them to be killed. LOrd have mercy. They must not die ooooo

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