Twelve soldiers fighting Boko Haram in Nigeria have been sentenced to death by firing squad for mutiny and attempted murder of their commanding officer.
They were among the 18 soldiers charged for mutiny on the 13 and 14th of May 2014 at the Maimalari Cantonment.
The soldiers were charged with six count of criminal conspiracy to commit mutiny, disobeying lawful orders and various acts said to be inimical to the military service.
Those to die are: Cpl. Jasper Braidolor, David Musa, Friday Onu, Yusuf Shuaibu, Emmanuel Igomu, Andrew Ngbede, Nurudeen Ahmed, Ifeanyi Alukhagbe, Alao Samuel, Amadi Chukwudi, Alan Linus and Stephen Clement.
Jeremiah Ichocho, who was found guilty of Absence Without Official Leave (AWOL) was sentenced to two years without labour.
Five were discharged and acquitted, having been found not guilty by the court.
The judgment describes an embarrassing scene where the second in command, Lt Col E. Azanda “has to dash for his dear life but discovered from where he was taking cover that soldiers eventually directed their shots” at Mohammed. It adds that Mohammed in his testimony said, “Thank God for the staff officer who rushed him into his car and the fact that the staff car is an armour-plated vehicle.”
The judgment issued by the nine-member court martial panel said the soldiers accused their officers of cowardice and threatened to shoot them.
The court martial panel said it “considered the gravity of the offence alleged, particularly the attempt to kill the general officer commanding 7 Division, Nigerian Army, and its likely effect on the counter-insurgency operations in the northeast as well as its implications on national security.”
Before sentencing, the soldiers’ private lawyers pleaded for leniency saying some of the defendants support aged parents, others are the sole bread winners in their family, and some of them had served in the army for 10 years, including in foreign peacekeeping missions