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Army Commutes Death Sentences On 66 Soldiers To 10 Years Imprisonment

BALTIMORE, MD (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The death sentences by firing squad passed on 66 soldiers in January and March 2015 by separate General Court Martials have been commuted to 10 years imprisonment each.

Acting Director of Army Public Relations, Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman made this public in a statement he issued Saturday.

Army recalled that a total of 71 soldiers were arraigned on several charges in joint trials, over several count charges among of which were Criminal Conspiracy, Conspiracy to commit mutiny, Mutiny, Attempt to Commit an Offence (Murder), Disobedience to Particular Orders, Insubordinate Behaviour and False Accusation and  others.

The soldiers were tried, discharged on some charges but found guilty and convicted on other charges which included mutiny.

Col. Usman indicated that out of the number, 66 were found guilty on some of the count charges and sentenced to death, while  five were discharged and acquitted and one was given 28 days Imprisonment with Hard Labour (IHL).

He stated following series of petitions, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai, ordered a legal review of the cases.

The directive the statement confirmed was carried out to examine the merit of each case, adding that it was on this basis the review and recommendations of commuting the death sentences of the 66 soldiers to 10 years jail term emanated. The sentences are to run concurrently.

Army also said the cases of other soldiers were being reviewed and would be made public once the appropriate reviews were completed.


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