Posted by News Express | 24 December 2014 | 3,818 times
The Nigerian military will soon court-martial over 100 army personnel, a senior military official has said.
The senior military official told Channels Television on Tuesday that the affected officers would be tried for various offences in relation to the counter-terrorism operation in the North-East.
According to the military source, the soldiers have been transported from Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, to Abuja to face the charges which have not been made known.
This comes a week after 54 soldiers were sentenced to death by firing squad for refusing to fight the Boko Haram terrorist group.
When contacted, the Director of Defence Information, Brigadier General Chris Olukolade, said there was nothing to worry about court-martial because it’s a regular occurence in the military, as a tool for discipline.
On Wednesday, December 17, 2014, the Nigerian Army’s 7 division General Court Martial convicted 54 soldiers for conspiracy to commit mutiny and sentenced them to death by firing squad.
The facts of the case indicated that the soldiers, from the 111 Special Forces, were charged for disobeying a direct order from their commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Timothy Opurum, to take part in an operation to recapture Delwa, Bulabulin and Damboa in Borno State from Boko Haram terrorists on August 4.
Meanwhile, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has asked a group of five United Nations human rights independent experts to individually and jointly request that the mass death sentences imposed on 54 Nigerian soldiers found guilty of mutiny should not be carried out.
The Executive Director of SERAP, Adetokunbo Mumuni, in a petition to the rights group, said it was not right or fair to try everyone in mass proceedings, and that such unfair trial should not send someone to the gallows.
He asked the group to make the request to the Nigerian government and the military.
Mr Mumuni emphasised that imposition of mass death sentences was in breach of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Nigeria was a party.
“This Covenant limits the circumstances in which a state can impose the death sentence,” he said.
•Photo shows some of those earlier court-martialled over the Boko Hara war.
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