12 out of the 18 soldiers standing trial for attempted murder and mutiny in Maimalari cantonment, Maiduguri were on Monday found guilty and sentenced to death by a Military court sitting in Abuja, according to Punch.Out of the remaining six soldiers, five were discharged and acquitted while the remaining one was jailed for 28 days with hard labour.It would be recalled it was reported on May 14, that some soldiers, angered by the death of 12 of their colleagues in a Boko Haram ambush, opened fire on the vehicle of the General Officer Commanding, GOC, 7th Division of the Nigerian Army, Ahmadu Mohammed in Maiduguri.Such act is viewed in the military as mutiny.
Meanwhile the names of the soldiers discharged are: David Robert, Mohammed Sani, Iseh Ubong, Sebastine Gwaba and Naaman Samuel.While Jeremiah Echocho was sentenced to 28 days with hard labour.The soldiers sentenced to death are:
Jasper Braidolor, David Musa, Friday Onuh, Yusuf Shuaibu, Igonmu Emmanuel, Andrew Ugbede, Nurudeen Ahmed, Ifeanyi Alukagba, Alao Samuel, Amadi Chukwuma, Alan Linus, and Stephen Clement.They were found guilty of criminal conspiracy, mutiny, attempt to commit murder (shooting of the vehicle of the GOC); insubordination to a particular order; insubordination and false accusation.The President of the Court Martial, Maj. Gen. C.C. Okonkwo found the 12 soldiers guilty of three of the most heinous charges bars.The defence team of the convicts pleaded with the court martial to temper justice with mercy as they shared stories about the convicts family background.
The defence team argued that giving them maximum sentence would do more harm than good, adding that it would increase the agony of their dependants.It would be recalled in May 2014, it was reported that 18 soldiers were arrested for interrogation following the mutiny by some soldiers of 7 Division, Nigerian Army, Maiduguri, Borno State on May 14 2014.
In July, reports stated that the soldiers blamed Mr Mohammed for the death of their colleagues.The attack on the GOC and his men reportedly occurred when they visited the cantonment.Aside taking revenge on the death of their colleagues, the soldiers at the cantonment were also reported to have complained about inadequate provision of weapons, non-timely payment of allowances and insufficient food, prior to the GOC’s visit.
Apparently it was gathered that the GOC’s visit coincided with the arrival of the corpses of soldiers killed in an ambush in Chibok on the night of May 13, 2014 which triggered the soldiers anger.Meanwhile after the attack, the General Officer Commanding (GOC), Major General Abubakar Mohammed who luckily escaped death was immediately redeployed and replaced by Brigadier General Mahmid Yakubu Ibrahim.The Maimalari Cantonment is the headquarters of 7 Division, the newest Division of the Nigerian Army.