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Army court martial jails six soldiers for murder, ammunition possession


The Nigerian Army Court Martial (NACM) sitting in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, yesterday sentenced two soldiers to death and life imprisonment and four others to jail terms of between five and 20 years for murder and unlawful procession of 2, 714 rounds of ammunition at their duty posts.

The crimes and offences were allegedly committed while the soldiers were fighting Boko Haram insurgents in various parts of the state in the last two years.Delivering the judgment at the 7 Division Garrison of the Nigerian Army, President of the Court Martial, Brig-Gen. Gbemiga Adesina, said Lance Corporal John Godwin killed five Boko Haram suspects at Yamtake village in November 2015.

He said Godwin admitted the killing rescued people by using three rounds of ammunition on each of them.The deceased, according to him, include Saleh Bello, Ibrahim Bello,Abba Ali, Abubakar Musa and Isa Garba, between the ages of 17 and 22.

Sgt. Innocent Ototo was also sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of Yakubu Isa, a 13-year-old boy at Zubarmari community of Jere Council.Isa, according to Adesina, was allegedly tortured for stealing Ototo’s handset at the military duty post of Zubarmari.He said Lance Corporal Benjamin Osaji, also charged along with
Ototo for committing the same offence, sentenced for 20 years imprisonment.

“Sunday Awe, a private attached to 112 Task Force Battalion, Mafa was sentenced for 20 months for unlawful procession of 1, 339 rounds of ammunition, while Private Bitrus Yunana and Lance Corporal Ayuba Jonathan were sentenced to five years jail term for unlawful procession of 925 and 450 rounds of ammunition on August 2, last year.

Adesina said the sentences were subject to confirmation of Sections 141, paragraph two, and 152 of paragraph 1 of the Armed Forces Act.He adjourned the court martial sitting to January 11, next year.

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