According to ThisDay, the 12 soldiers sentenced to death by firing squad yesterday Tuesday morning by the military tribunal are likely to head to the Federal Court of Appeal, in the event that the Army Council ratifies their sentence.
Their sentence was the climax of a military court martial involving the arraignment of 18 soldiers on a six-count charge for their involvement in a mutiny on May 14, when some aggrieved troops opened fire at a car carrying the Commanding Officer, 7 Division in Maiduguri, Borno State,Major-General Ahmadu Mohammed.
However, the death sentences handed down by the tribunal have been condemned by the Trade Union Congress (TUC), human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), and a cross section of Nigerians, who believe the military should commute the death sentences to a less severe one.
The military tribunal that was presided over by Brigadier-General Chukwuemeka Okonkwo outlined charges one to six under which the soldiers where tried including insubordinate behaviour, false accusation, mutiny, absence without leave (AWOL) and conduct to the prejudice of service discipline.
After the ruling, which took several hours to reach, 13 of the accused were found guilty under different counts, while five others were discharged and acquitted of all charges.
Following the conviction, the Nigerian Army General Court Martial sentenced 12 of the 18 soldiers to death by firing squad, while one was sentenced to 28 days imprisonment with hard labour and five others were set free.
It has however been learnt that the convicted soldiers would head to the Court of Appeal to either clear their names of the offences or have their sentences commuted to a less severe one.
Credits:ThisDaylive | Punch