Army Sentences Soldier To Death For killing Five Civilians
One soldier has been sentenced to death while others are to serve various jail terms following a judgment delivered yesterday by the General Court Martial of 7 Division Nigeria Army sitting in Maiduguri, Borno State.
The trial followed investigation into alleged human rights abuse by troops of Operation Lafiya Dole on members of the public.
Delivering his judgments, the President of the Court Martial, Brigadier General Gbenga Olusegun Adesina, explained that the offences were contrary to Nigerian Army’s Rules of Engagement (ROE) as well as Nigerian Laws and Geneva Conventions which Nigeria is signatory to, stressing that “ the Nigerian Army, as a professional army, holds these laws in high esteem.”
Lance Corporal John Godwin who is to face execution, was charged with murder, punishable under Section 106 (a) of Armed Forces Acts (Cap A20), Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN) 2004, for killing five rescued civilians in Yamteke town of Borno State in November, 2015.
The court availed that the civilians were earlier rescued by troops of the soldier’s battalion and were taken for investigation when Cpl John Godwin shot five to death.
The deceased, according to him, include Saleh Bello, Ibrahim Bello, Abba Ali, Abubakar Musa and Isa Garba aged between 17 and 22.
“Godwin has run afoul of human rights violations and the rules of engagement while fighting Boko Haram. You’re guilty of murder as charged before this court martial and sentenced you to death,” said Adesina.