54 soldiers jailed for life for demanding better weapons released after 7 years
Around 54 Nigerian soldiers have been released after being convicted of seeking better weaponry to battle insurgency.
Soldiers who requested stronger weapons to combat the Boko Haram insurgency were charged with mutiny and condemned to death in 2014.
After the case was reviewed, the death penalty was reduced to ten years in prison.
The soldiers were transported to the chambers of human rights lawyer Femi Falana, SAN, in Ikeja, Lagos State, after being freed from the medium-security custodial centre, Kirikiri, Apapa maximum jail, and Ikoyi correctional centre on Tuesday.
Falana, who their lawyer at the military court-martial, argued that “the only allegation proved against them at the courts-martial was that they protested the refusal of the military authorities to provide weapons to fight insurgency.”
He added, “Unlike many soldiers who deserted the army, the convicts were ready to defend the territorial integrity of the country. They only made a legitimate demand for equipment to fight the insurgents who were better equipped and motivated.
“The second batch of convicts actually fought and defeated the Boko Haram troops at Delwa in Borno State when weapons were eventually made available to them.
“But for having the temerity to demand weapons they were convicted and sentenced to death.”