$2bn Arms Scam: Pardon 66 Convicted Soldiers, CNPP Tells BuhariFeatured, Latest News, News Sunday, December 20th, 2015
By IGNATIUS OKPARA, Enugu
The Conference of Nigerian Political Parties, CNPP has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari, to reinstate the 66 soldiers whose death sentence was recently commuted to 10 years imprisonment.
It said her call became necessary in view of revelations emanating from the trial of former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd).
CNPP, in a press statement signed by its National publicity secretary,Mr. Osita Okechukwu, made available to AFRICAN EXAMINER on Sunday in Enugu, called on President Buhari “to use his powers of prerogative order of mercy, to graciously pardon and reinstate the ‘Soldier Mutineers’ as per the war against Boko Haram insurgents; for the Dasuki-Gate has vindicated them.”
While applauding the Chief of Army Staff COAS Buratai, for the review of the sentences as announced by the Acting Director of Army Public Relations, Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman, the CNPP said “in addition to the review of some of the sentences by the Chief of Army Staff, we still appeal to Mr President and Commander-in-Chief to as a matter of urgent national importance to pardon and reinstate the mutinied soldiers.
“Our appeal is anchored on the premise that they were starved of equipment as evidenced by their pleadings in the court martial that they were ill-equipped. Indeed the only allegation charge proved against them at the trial was that they had the temerity to ask for equipment to combat the insurgency.
“Fortunately or unfortunately, the reasons for the sordid scenario of dearth of equipment which led to the mutiny is clearly gazetted by the unpatriotic, callous, unconscionable and utter greed of Col Sambo Dasuki (rtd), erstwhile National Security Adviser and his clan.
“Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP) is in actual fact of the considered view that it is Dasuki and clan who engaged in crass primitive accumulation, and unpatriotic diversion of arms fund to private pockets, that the Federal Government should urgently commence their trial for criminal conspiracy, murder and subversion of the Nigeria State.
“Their trial is not just minor trial of money laundering and other quasi charges but treason.
“They declared state of emergency serially; yet paid deaf ears to the wanton killing of soldiers and the Maiduguri Barack protest march of the wives of soldiers. A protest some pundits posit could have been a wakeup call to the kleptomaniacs.
“The soldiers wives protest is rated to be the first and only one in the history of the Nigeria Army.
“It could be recalled that when after a meeting with former president, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, GCFR, at Aso Villa, the chief security officer in the locus in quo, His Excellency, Ibrahim Shettima, governor of Borno, shouted at the top of his voice that Boko Haram is better equipped and better motivated than the Nigeria Army, hell was let loose.
“He was called all sorts of unprintable names by the cash and carry clique.
“Similarly, the then Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshal Alex Bade (rtd), also testified like Pontus Pilate to the truism that the soldiers were ill-equipped and ill-motivated. Though medicine after death from a Defence Overall Boss who looked the other way while the Bazaar was going on.
It noted that “In spite of our collective amnesia, we cannot forget easily how the erstwhile Jonathan’s regime botched the covert negotiations of Dr Steve Davies with Boko Haram, and chased him away. An innocent Australian clergy who took the risk and volunteered to negotiate with Boko Haram.
“Your Excellency, for God’s sake, how else or better evidence can we assemble to convince that the military mutineers were vindicated given the avalanche of evidence on the ground?
“Consequently, we appeal to President Buhari to exercise his powers of prerogative order of mercy to quash the reduced jail” the group pleaded.
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