A military court-martial sitting in Abuja early hours of Tuesday sentenced 12 Nigerian soldiers to death by firing squad after they were found guilty of mutiny, disobedience and attempted murder in Maiduguri, Borno State last May.
The court also sentenced a soldier to one-month jail term with hard labor while freeing five others.
It would be recalled that on 14th May 2014, a group of soldiers fired shots at Maj-Gen Ahmadu Mohammed, the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 7th Division of the Nigerian Army, at Maimalari Barracks, Maiduguri.
The soldiers threw caution to the winds and fired shots at the official car of the GOC when they saw the bodies of 12 of their colleagues being brought back from a counter-insurgency operation, where they were killed by Boko Haram gunmen, who ambushed their convoy.
Gen. Mohammed escaped unhurt as his vehicle was armored but he was quickly removed the following day.
The soldiers condemned to die are Cpl. Jasper Braidolor, Cpl. David Musa, Lance Cpl. Friday Onun, Lance Cpl. Yusuf Shuaibu, Lance Cpl. Igomu Emmanuel and Pte. Andrew Ngbede.
The others are Pte. Nurudeen Ahmed, Pte. Ifeanyi Alukhagbe, Pte. Alao Samuel, Pte. Amadi Chukwudi, Pte. Allan Linus and Lance Cpl. Stephen Clement.
The President of the Court, Brig.-Gen. C.C. Okonkwo, while announcing the sentences, however, said that the decisions were subject to “confirmation”.
Cpl. David Luhbut, Cpl. Muhammed Sani, Pte. Iseh Ubong, Pte. Sabastine Gwaba and Pte. Inama Samuel were set free by the court.
The 18th soldier, Pte Ichocho Jeremiah, was found guilty of going AWOL (absent without leave) and was sentenced to 28 days in prison with hard labour.