Dec 18, 2014 – Mutiny: 54 Nigerian Soldiers Sentenced To Death By Firing Squad By General Court Martial Need Jonathan’s Help To Survive
The General Court Martial(GCM) set up by Army authorities to try some of its erring officers and soldiers for offences committed in its operation in the North East have sentenced 54 soldiers to death by firing squad.
The court has also discharged and acquitted five others. The GCM, headed by Brigadier-General M.S. Yusuf as president and Lt-Colonel Ukpe Ukpe, as Judge Advocate, passed the sentences on 59 soldiers for the offences of mutiny and conspiracy to commit mutiny.
Daily Sun gathered that before passing the judgement on the soldiers, the Chief of Army Staff, held a marathon meeting with Principal Staff Offcers (PSO), and other top Army officers at the Army Headquarters Abuja, which lasted over seven hours.
Although details of the meeting were sketchy, sources said the parley also deliberated on the ongoing court martial.
The Army had set up the GCM on October, 15, 2014, to try 97 officers and soldiers for offences committed in the North East operations against insurgency.
Those facing the GCM, include four Lieutenant-Colonels, one Major, four Captains, five Lieutenants, one 2/Lieutenant and one Warrant Officer.
Others are one Sergeant, 24, Corporals, 52 Privates, one Trooper, 67, of the soldiers are being defended by human rights activist and lawyer, Mr Femi Falana(SAN).
Daily Sun gathered that this is not the first time the court was passing judgement on the suspected soldiers as the cases were being taken in batches. However, this is the first time the court was passing death sentences onthe soldiers.
The court will commence sitting to hear the cases of the remaining soldiers and give its verdict before the Christmas
The judgement, is however, subject to confirmation by the Army Council, which has the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Goodluck Jonathan as Chairman and the Minister of Defence, Chef of Army Staff Lt. Gen. Minimah, Military Secretary and other top Army officers as members.