The Nigerian Army has found two soldiers on Operation Lafiya Dole guilty for alleged violation of human rights in Borno State and sentenced them to 10 years imprisonment.
President of the General Court Martial (GCM) 7 Division, Nigerian Army, Brig-Gen. Olusegun Adesina, while delivering judgement yesterday at the Officers’ Mess of the Maimalari Cantonment, said the action of the soldiers was unlawful and against the ethics of the armed forces.
Gen. Adesina said the accused stood trial for three-count charge, including abduction of one Alhaji Hassan on November 19, 2017 at his residence in Ruwan Zafi area of Maiduguri metropolis to an unknown location, and collection of N1 million ransom from him after being threatened and accused of being a Boko Haram sponsor.
The soldiers, according to him, confessed to committing the offence.“They invaded the victim’s (Alhaji Hassan) house with a Honda 98 model and dragged him out, and forcefully took him to the Railway Area of Maiduguri where he was threatened and tagged a Boko Haram sponsor. They subsequently demanded N3million from him.“However, the victim begged and agreed to pay a million naira. And he took the accused soldiers to his shop on Babban Layi in Maiduguri where he gave them N1m as promised.”
In his judgment, Gen. Adesina said: “Having considered all pleadings by the defence counsel, on 1st count charge, you Sergeant Aliyu Hassan and Corporal Nasiru Bello are hereby sentenced to 5 years in prison for abduction.“On count 2, your rank from Sergeant has reduced to Corporal and also your rank from Corporal to private for illegal behaviour on uniform. For the third charge for extortion of N1million from the victim, you are hereby sentenced to 5 years in prison respectively. The service of term shall run concurrently.”It was learnt that the General Court Martial in Maiduguri had imprisoned a number of soldiers for various offences in the last one year.