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Human rights: Why Nigerian Army sentenced its soldier to death

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  • Others punished for various offences
  • Rights commission commends trial 

…Ibrahim Uba


The Nigerian Army has explained why it sentenced one of its soldiers engaged in the counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations to death.


The General Court Martial (GCM) sitting at 7 Division, Nigerian Army in Maiduguri, Borno State gave the reasons on Friday at the conclusion of the cases of five soldiers bordering on violation of human rights and other operational offences in Operation Lafiya Dole.
Delivering judgment, the President of the GCM, Brig-Gen. Olusegun Adeniyi announced the court sentences including that of Lance Corporal Hilary Joel who was sentenced to death for killing a Boko Haram terrorist’s suspect during operations.


Adeniyi said Joel was convicted for murder of a suspected Boko Haram terrorist in Damboa and consequently “sentenced to death”.


He also rules for the reduction in rank to Private in two-count charges for Sergeant Samuel Balanga who is convicted for desertion and miscellaneous offences.


In the same vein, the court sentenced Private Chima Samuel who was convicted for aiding and abetting murder of a minor Yakubu Isah in Maiduguri to 15 years imprisonment.


The Deputy Director of Army Public Relations (DDAPR), Lt-Col. Kingsley Samuel, who confirmed this in a statement, also said that Corporal Aliu Audu who was charged for assault was reduced to the rank of Private.

Samuel stated that Trooper Sunday Ogwuche who was convicted for stealing and unlawful possession of 641 rounds of 7.62mm Special was sentenced to 2 years and 5 years imprisonment.

Meanwhile, he said that the representative of the National Human Rights Commission present in court, Barr. Jumai Usman Mshelia who is the Commission Acting Zonal Coordinator in Borno State commended the Nigerian Army for the transparency in the trial of the a accused soldiers


According to him, Mshelia expressed delight that the Nigerian Army has shown that it is a discipline organisation and airing personnel are tried for wrong doing.


“She was happy that justice has been served,” he stated.


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