A Nigerian Army General Court Marshal sitting in 7 Division Garrison Pompomari, Maiduguri, Borno State, on Wednesday sentenced 2 Soldiers serving in Operation Lafiya Dole to 23 years jail terms respectively.
The sentencing of the soldiers battling Boko Haram terrorists in Nigerian North East was based on charges that bordered on unlawful possession of Fire Arms punishable under Section 27 (1) (a & b) (i & ii) of the Firearms Act.
The Deputy Director of Army Public Relations (DDAPR), 7 Division Nigerian Army Maiduguri, Lt-Col. Kingsley Samuel, said the convicts; Trooper Eric Nwokere and Trooper Macaulay Fortune at the time of the arrest were in possession of 5 empty AK-47 rifle magazines and 20,136 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition at Jumputu Motor Park, Jimeta, Yola, Adamawa State, while boarding a commercial vehicle to an unknown destination.
Samuel said that another soldier, Corporal Garba Saidu, was also sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for unlawful possession of ammunition.
“The soldier was arrested and charged for illegal possession of 2,800 rounds of 7.2mm (Special) ammunition. He was arrested after discovering the ammunition hidden in a poultry farm near Tipper Garage in Maiduguri metropolis. The farm is said to belong to a serving Nigerian Policeman. He was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment.
“The President of the General Court Marshal Lt Col Adamu Hassan said the decision of the court was arrived after close of submissions by both the prosecution and defense counsels. He said the prosecution has proven the case beyond reasonable doubt in line with the burden of proof on the prosecutor to prove all criminal case beyond reasonable doubt,” he stated.
The Spokesperson recalled that the 7 Division General Court Marshal was inaugurated to try misconduct committed by officers and men fighting insurgency in the North East.