Saturday, 16 December 2017

Army Sentence Soldier To Death For Killing Seven Civilians


The General Court Martial (GOC) sitting in Maiduguri, Borno State has sentenced a soldier serving in Operation Lafiya Dole to death for killing civilians. Colonel Kingsley Samuel, Deputy Director 7 Division Army Public Relations, said this in a statement on Friday.

He said the soldier, Lance Corporal John Godwin, was charged with murder for killing five rescued civilians in Yamteke town of Borno State. Samuel stated that other soldiers were also sentenced for various offences ranging from manslaughter to illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.

The civilians were earlier rescued by troops of the soldier’s battalion and were taken for investigation at the time the soldier shot and killed five of them. “Another soldier, Sergeant Innocent Ototo, was sentenced to life imprisonment for manslaughter after torturing and killing a 13-year-old boy who he said stole his phone. The incident happened at Zamanbari area of Maiduguri metropolis in Borno State.

“While Lance Corporal Benjamin Osage and Private Sunday Onwe were also sentenced to 20 years imprisonment each for offences bordering on manslaughter and illegal possession of firearms and ammunition,” the statement read.

Delivering the judgement, the President of the Court Martial, Brigadier General Gbenga Olusegun Adesina, said that the offences run contrary to Nigerian Army’s Rules of Engagement (ROE) and also against Nigerian Laws and Geneva Conventions which Nigeria is the signatory to and which the Nigerian Army as a professional Army holds in high esteem.

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