Cuort of Appeal has stopped the execution of the death sentence that was passed on two of the twelve 

By Ikechukwu Nnochiri

ABUJA—The Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal has stopped the execution of the death sentence that was passed on two of the twelve Nigerian soldiers who were convicted last year by a Military Court Martial over their alleged complicity in acts of mutiny.

Soldiers tasked with fighting Boko Haram militants arrive to face trials for mutiny in Abuja on October 2, 2014. Nearly 100 soldiers tasked with fighting Boko Haram militants in Nigeria's far northeast appeared at a military court martial on Thursday, facing a range of charges including mutiny. The hearing comes just weeks after a tribunal sentenced 12 soldiers to death following their conviction for shooting at their commanding officer in the Borno state capital, Maiduguri, in May. AFP PHOTO

Soldiers tasked with fighting Boko Haram militants arrive to face trials for mutiny in Abuja . Filed photo

The soldiers were on September 15, 2014, condemned to death by the General Court Marshal which sat at the Army Headquarters Garrison, Mogadishu Cantonment in Abuja.

They were charged with offences that ranged from disobedience to particular order, insubordination, false accusation, criminal behavior, conspiracy to commit mutiny and mutiny under the Armed Forces Act 2004.

Three of the convicted soldiers, CPL Stephen Clement, CPL Igomu Emmanuel and PTE Andrew Ngbede, however went before the appellate court through their lawyer, Chief Godwin Obla, SAN, to challenge the decision of the Court Marshal which convicted and sentenced them to life imprisonment and death.

The convicted soldiers, in their separate suits, raised eleven grounds of appeal.

The argued that they were not granted fair trial, adding that the proceedings of the General Court Marshal was fraught with many fundamental irregularities.

They therefore prayed the appellate court to stay the execution of their sentences pending the hearing and determination of the appeals.

Meantime, the convicted soldiers had lamented the refusal of Nigerian military authority to release to their lawyer the record of proceedings at the court marshal to enable him to effectively challenge the outcome of the military tribunal at the court of appeal.

Series of correspondence by Chief Obla to both the Chief of Army Staff and the President and Commander In Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces, wherein he expressed apprehension on the likelihood of the Army executing the convicted soldiers while their appeal is still pending, equally failed to attract any response from the military authorities.

However, in his bid to save the lives of his clients, their lawyer, Chief Obla, last February, took their plight before the National Human Rights Commission.

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About Sylvester

The world will always give you the opportunity to quit. In trying times, too many people quit trying. One of the most powerful success principles ever preach is: Never Give Up!
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