Nigeria court martials 59 soldiers

2014-10-15 20:45
Nigerian soldiers stand guard at the offices of the state-run Nigerian Television Authority in Maiduguri, Nigeria. (Jon Gambrell, AP, File)

Nigerian soldiers stand guard at the offices of the state-run Nigerian Television Authority in Maiduguri, Nigeria. (Jon Gambrell, AP, File)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Abuja - Fifty-nine Nigerian soldiers appeared before a military tribunal on Wednesday charged with mutiny and conspiracy to commit mutiny over claims that they refused to fight Boko Haram militants.

The soldiers, all members of the 111th Special Forces Battalion, all pleaded not guilty at a general court martial sitting in the capital, Abuja.

Last month, 12 Nigerian soldiers were sentenced to death for mutiny after shots were fired at their commanding officer in the restive northeast city of Maiduguri earlier this year.

The 59 soldiers are charged with "conspiring to commit mutiny against the authorities of 7 Division, Nigerian Army," which is in the front line of the counter-insurgency.

They are also accused of refusing to deploy in August to recapture the towns of Yelwa, Bellabulini and Dambo in Borno state from Boko Haram, according to the charge sheet.

A total of 97 soldiers appeared in court on 2 October on a range of charges related to the fight against Boko Haram, whose insurgency has claimed thousands of lives since 2009.

Prosecutor Joseph Nwosu told the court: "When the prosecution is through with its evidence against the accused soldiers, you will not be left with any doubt as to their guilt of the offences charged."

But Femi Falana, defending, told the panel that there was "no atom of evidence to back up the charges".

Largest mutiny trial

He added: "At the end of the day, we are going to show that what the accused persons were alleged upon has nothing to do with mutiny.

"This is the largest number of soldiers ever put on mutiny trial in Nigeria.

"So, this trial is going to be historic and we are going to convince your lordship that these soldiers should not have been brought here."

Nigeria's military has been under pressure to claw back territory seized by the militants in the northeast states of Yobe, Borno and Adamawa, which has led to fears of a loss of government control.

There have been reports that Nigerian soldiers have refused to deploy for operations and even fled before and during Boko Haram attacks.

Read more on:    boko haram  |  nigeria  |  west africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


How to open a beer bottle without an opener

Do the right thing and never be thirsty again…


You won't want to miss...

WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…
WATCH: Conor McGregor: Notorious the trailer
Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.