At the General Court Martial sitting at the Army Headquarters Garrison in Abuja on Wednesday, December 17, fifty-four soldiers were sentenced to death, after being found guilty of mutiny.
Out of the 59 soldiers on trial on a two-count charge of criminal conspiracy to commit mutiny and mutiny, 5 of them were acquitted.
The 59 soldiers allegedly refused lawful orders by their commander to proceed on a mission to clear out terrorists and secure a town for subsequent military deployments in Borno.
They were said to have refused to join the 111 Special Forces Battalion troops at Mulai Primary School, Maiduguri, in a planned operation to recapture Delwa and to prepare the grounds for the recapture of two other towns, Bulabulin and Damboa from the insurgents on August 4, 2014.
All the soldiers had pleaded not guilty to the charges levelled against them at the commencement of the trial last October.
However, the case against five of the soldiers was not successful and they were consequently discharged and acquitted. The freed soldiers are Sudan Hannania; Ogar Simon; Lance Cpl. Jacob Mallam; Pte. Eyakanze Uwah; and Pte. Lucky Boaz.
After the verdict, the defence lawyer, Maj. Femi Oyebanji, who stood in for Femi Falana (SAN), protested after the judgment had been read that the Judge Advocate of the Court, Lt. Col. Ukpe, Ukpe misdirected the court to give the verdict.
Oyebanji said that they would protest the verdict of the court to the confirming authority.
The soldiers are the second batch of Nigerian soldiers condemned to death by Nigerian Military courts for mutiny in recent time.