Army Allegedly Starves 54 Convicted Soldiers – Report

Army Allegedly Starves 54 Convicted Soldiers – Report

By Eseme MacDonald | Associate Editor on December 27, 2014
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Photo Credit: Fotolia

The fifty-four Nigerian soldiers sentenced to death on Wednesday, December 17, 2014 by a military court for mutiny and failure to wade off the attack of the Boko Haram insurgents are reportedly being starved by the army since their transfer from Abuja to a holding cell in Lagos State on Sunday, December 21, 2014 .

The condemned soldiers are reportedly receiving treatment which military sources allegedly described as “terrible and inhumane.”

It was gathered that they are currently awaiting the ruling of the military council as regards the sentences which will be followed by an appeal that might lead to their freedom or final condemnation.

Sources from the military allegedly said the convicted soldiers who were attached to the 7 Division, Nigerian Army in Maiduguri, Borno State, have been bound on the legs since they left Abuja and are packed in two cells devoid of beds and without any provision for food or care.

Sources from the military said, “The first cell has 30 soldiers. The second is underground and has 24 soldiers.

“There are no beds, no mattresses. The soldiers have not been fed since Sunday.”

Reports by Premium Times say that the soldiers were held without food from Sunday when they arrived Lagos, till Wednesday night, although it is unclear whether the situation has changed since Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the attorney for the convicted soldiers, who is also a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, described the sentence as “genocidal,” and disclosed that they were being held in very  “dehumanising conditions.”

Falana stated that the military authorities would have taken the convicted soldiers to a prison instead of a military cell since the judgement had been passed.

He further disclosed that the conditions of the convicted soldiers held in Jos, Plateau State, was worse off than those currently held in Lagos.

He said, “The soldiers in Jos are held in underground cells.”

The military had on Friday, December 26, 2014 warned activists and politicians to desist from ridiculing the justice system, saying recent comments about the trial and other happenings within the force in the fight against Boko Haram, could be inciting.

“It is obvious that most of the comments and sensational stories in the media have been oblivious of the fact that the processes are still ongoing and yet to be concluded, ” the defence spokesperson, Chris Olukolade, said in a statement.

 

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