Kill Corruption, Not Our Soldiers: Justice Must Be Done To Maimalari 12 – Social Movement for Change (SMC)
The text of a press conference held by members of SMC in Abuja on 16 Sept, 2014.
Ladies and gentlemen of the press, we received with shock the news of a barbarian judgment yesterday 15 Sept, 2014 on thirteen soldiers of the Nigerian Army by a military court martial presided over by Maj. Gen. C.C. Okonkwo, the court martial was setup to investigate eighteen soldiers for involving in a gun attack targeting the General Officer Commanding 7 Division of the Nigerian Army, Maj. Gen. Ahmed Mohammmed, in Maiduguri, Borno state on May 14, 2014.
“Maj. Gen. C.C. Okonkwo found thirteen out of the eighteen soldiers guilty of criminal conspiracy, mutiny, attempt to commit murder (shooting of the vehicle of the GOC); insubordination to a particular order; insubordination and false accusation. The court martial discharged and acquitted five out of the eighteen soldiers namely David Robert, Mohammed Sani, Iseh Ubong, Sebastine Gwaba and Naaman Samuel.”
“Twelve others namely Jasper Braidolor, David Musa, Friday Onuh, Yusuf Shuaibu, Igonmu Emmanuel, Andrew Ugbede, Nurudeen Ahmed, Ifeanyi Alukagba, Alao Samuel, Amadi Chukwuma, Alan Linus, and Stephen Clement, were found guilty and sentenced to death while Jeremiah Echocho was sentenced to 28 days with hard labour.”
We wonder where these nature of judgments originated in this our 21st century? It is absolutely malapropos and scatterbrained for any well organized system to issue such barbarity on people who were pushed to the wall, people who were forced to revolt against oppression and injustice without properly investigating the genesis of their action or inaction.
Although, what the soldiers did amounts to a punishable offense but in an ideal society, the cause of their action summoned more severe retributions than the offenders but to our dismay, the GOC whom his derelictions to duty and gross irresponsibility resulted to the ugly incident of May 14, 2014 was left unpunished while the poor soldiers are now forced to pay the price of his inept nitwits.
The cause of the their action should have been given much priorities and emphasis more than their action.
In any spirit less society like ours, a society characterized by corruption, un patriotism, insensitivity, immorality, callousness and impunity, a society deeply affected by deficiency of good leadership. The action of these poor soldiers and many other incidents where people takes law into their hands is inevitable and until we choose to do the things the right way, the better for Nigeria.
In view of the above, Social Movement for Change condemned in it strongest terms the barbaric death verdict by Maj. Gen. C.C. Okonkwo’s court martial issued against twelve soldiers of the Nigerian Army for their role in the shooting of the General Officer Commanding 7 Division of Nigerian Army, Maj. Gen. Ahmed Mohammmed, in Maiduguri on 14 May, 2014.
It is un impressionable, irresponsible, callous, obdurate and case-hardened for such ill-hearted judgment to be issued at this satirical and reproachful moment in our yesteryears.
Viewing from the current security situation ravaging Nigeria’s peace and unity, this verdict alone can fall off the already low morale of our gallant forces in the battlefield, which is more crucial for us now than the so-called mutiny.
SMC is hereby calling on the Nigerian Military leadership and the Military Court to as a matter of urgent, reverse it earlier verdict to a more human friendly judgment or acquit and discharge the poor men free of charge.
We wish to call on both local and international human right agencies and activists to come to the help of these poor innocent soldiers in what appears to be a complete human right violation and a crime against humanity. We also urge Nigerian judiciary, Nigerian Bar Association and all relevant authorities to step up efforts in delivering justice to these soldiers.
We expect the military top leadership to launch a straight fight against corruption and impunity which are the main factors behind the so-called mutiny and are responsible for killing the morale of our combat troops in the troubled Northeast, but not killing our soldiers.
Social Movement for Change equally wish to join other across Nigeria and the world in showing sympathy and support to Maimalari 12 soldiers, “we are with you and you have our total support” and urge all well-meaning groups/individuals to do the same.
Join the fight against injustice! ?#?FreeOurSoldiers
God Bless Nigeria
God Bless SMC
Usama A. Dandare
Social Movement for Change (SMC).
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