The Nigerian Army on Saturday commuted the death sentences passed on 66 soldiers between January and March this year by separate General Military Court Martials to 10 years imprisonment each.
This was contained in a statement by the Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Col. Sani Usman, on Saturday.
The 66 out of 72 soldiers tried for Criminal Conspiracy, Conspiracy to commit mutiny, Mutiny, Attempt to Commit an Offence (Murder), Disobedience to Particular Orders, Insubordinate Behaviour and False Accusation, amongst others were sentenced to death by firing squad.
The statement said the cases of other soldiers were being reviewed and would be made public once the reviews are completed.
The decision to commute the soldiers’ death sentence, the army spokesman said, was taken after a thorough consideration of petitions and pleas for clemency by concerned citizens.
The statement reads:
“The soldiers were arraigned on several count charges that include criminal conspiracy, conspiracy to commit mutiny, mutiny, attempt to commit an offence (murder), disobedience to particular orders, insubordinate behaviour and false accusation, among others.
“They were tried, discharged on some charges but found guilty and convicted on other charges which included mutiny. 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.
“The directive was carried out to examine the merit of each case. It was on the basis of the review and recommendations that the Chief of Army Staff commuted the death sentence of the 66 soldiers to 10 years jail term. The sentences are to run concurrently”.