Maimalari Mutiny: 12 Sentenced To Death For Shooting At Commanding Officer

Maimalari Mutiny: 12 Sentenced To Death For Shooting At Commanding Officer

By News Desk | The Trent on September 16, 2014
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Military authorities last night sentenced 12 soldiers to death for mutiny.

Four soldiers were also discharged and acquitted while one soldier was sentenced to 28 days imprisonment with hard labour.

The soldiers were arraigned before the court martial on a six-count charge of criminal conspiracy to commit mutiny, disobeying lawful orders and various acts inimical to military service.

The convicted soldiers are Cpl. David Musa, Cpl. David Robert, Cpl. Jasper Baido, Cpl. Mohammed Sani, L/Cpl. Friday Onu, L/Cpl. Yusuf Shuaibu, L/Cpl. Emmanuel Iganmu, L/Cpl. Stephen Clement, Priv. Andrew Gbede, Priv. Nurudeen Ahmed, Priv. Ifeanyi Anukabe, Priv. Alao Samuel, Priv. Alan Linus, Priv. Namaan Samuel, Priv. Ichocho Jeremiah, Priv. Sebastine Amah and Priv. Amadi Chukwudi.

One of the soldiers, Private Ise Ubong, was, however, discharged and acquitted, having been found innocent of all the charges.

The nine-member all-military court martial also found the soldiers guilty of insubordination, use of abusive language and levelling of false accusation against their superior officers, among others.

They were found guilty of attempting to kill their erstwhile General Officer Commanding (GOC) 7 Division, Maj.-Gen. Ahmed Mohammed, by shooting at his official car between May 13 and 14, 2014.

The incident took place at the Maimalari Barracks, Maiduguri, in the course of the ongoing counter-insurgency campaign in the northeast.

The court also found them guilty of preventing the movement of some of their injured colleagues to hospital and obstructing the evacuation of their dead colleagues who were killed in an ambush on their way from an operation in Chibok, Borno State.

They were found guilty of three out of the six charges brought against them, which are conspiracy, mutiny and attempted murder of Maj.-Gen. Mohammed.

The following were found guilty of insubordination and threatening to shoot Lt.-Col E. Azenda and for laying false accusations: Cpl David Luhbut, Cpl Mohammed Sani, L/Cpl Stephen Clement, Private Imama Samuel, Iseh Ubong, Ichocho Jeremiah and Sabastine Gwaba.

The convicted are Cpl Jasper Braidolor, Cpl David Musa, L/Cpl Friday Onun, Yusuf Shaibu, Emmanuel Igomu, Private Andrew Ngbede, Nurudeen Ahmed, Ifeanyi Alukagbe, Alao Samuel and Amadi Chukwudi.

They were found guilty of the three counts of criminal conspiracy to commit mutiny, mutiny and attempt to commit murder.

The legal team of the convicts pleaded with the court martial to temper justice with mercy.

The team reeled out pathetic stories about the family backgrounds of the convicted servicemen.

One was said to be the only son of his octogenarian widowed mother.

Another is the father of a five-month-old baby.

The defence team argued that giving them maximum sentence would do more harm than good, adding that it would increase the agony of their dependants.

The court said the sentences were subject to confirmation by higher authorities and acknowledged the right of the soldiers, who pleaded not guilty to most of the charges, to appeal the judgment.

Having listened to the allocution (plea for leniency) by lawyers to the soldiers asking the court to temper justice with mercy, the court martial passed various sentences on the soldiers at about 2:02am as follows:

The convicted soldiers are Cpl Jasper Braidolor, Cpl David Musa, L/Cpl Friday Onun, Yusuf Shaibu, Emmanuel Igomu, Private Andrew Ngbede, Nurudeen Ahmed, Ifeanyi Alukagbe, Alao Samuel, Amadi Chukwudi and Alan Linus.

They were found guilty of the three counts of criminal conspiracy to commit mutiny, mutiny and attempt to commit murder.

The panel sentenced each of the above soldiers to life imprisonment for count one, and death sentence by firing squad for count two.

The following were found guilty of insubordination and threatening  to shoot Lt Col E. Azenda and false accusations: Cpl David Luhbut, Cpl Mohammed Sani, L/Cpl Stephen Clement, Private Imama Samuel, Iseh Ubong and Sabastine Gwaba.

L/Cpl Stephen Clement was found guilty on count one and sentenced to two years imprisonment. He was also found guilty of mutiny and sentenced to death by firing squad.

Four others were discharged and acquitted. Another soldier Ichocho Jeremiah was sentenced to 28 days imprisonment with hard labour.

The court martial stated that the above pronouncements are subject to the confirmation of the Nigerian Army.

The soldiers had engaged in act of mutiny when they revolted against the then GOC, 7 Division, Nigerian Army, Major General Ahmadu Mohammed, who escaped death by the whiskers when a group of disgruntled soldiers turned their gun at his vehicle and pulled the trigger.

The court was presided over by Brig. Gen. CC Okwonkwo.

Other members of the court are: Col. TS Nurseman, Col. TO Olowomeye, Col. IG Lassa, Lt.Col. JK Feboke, Lt. Col. CR Nnebeife, Major I Yusuf, Major TA Yakubu and Major AE Martins.
Lt. Col. AA Audu and Lt. Col. U Ukpe served as prosecutors.

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