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If Terrorists Can Be Forgiven, Soldiers Jailed For Mutiny Deserve Pardon – Falana Tells FG

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Popular lawyer, Femi Falana SAN says soldiers jailed for mutiny in 2014 deserve to be pardoned and re-absorbed into the Army since the Federal Government forgives, de-radicalises, and re-integrates repentant terrorists into society.

The lawyer stated this in an August 25, 2021 letter addressed to the president.

DECENCY GLOBAL NEWS recalls that the soldiers were convicted in 2014 for mutiny.

They were initially sentenced to death but had their sentences commuted to 10 years imprisonment in 2015 partly due to Falana’s efforts.

In his letter, Falana said that the soldiers did not deserve to be punished for merely demanding to be better equipped to prosecute their missions.

The letter read in part, “The Arms Procurement Panel instituted by Your Excellency has confirmed that the sum of $2.1 billion and N643 billion set aside for the purchase of equipment for the counter insurgency operations was diverted by some military officers and their civilian accomplices. The coterie of military officers who cornered the fund deliberately sabotaged the counter insurgency operations of the Government of Nigeria.

“​In view of the criminal diversion of the huge fund earmarked for acquiring military hardware for the defence of the nation the indicted military officers and their civilian collaborators ought to have been charged with mutiny, sabotage and other war crimes. But out of class solidarity, a few of the indicted military officers and civilians have been charged with the offence of money laundering at the Federal High Court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

“In the same vein, Your Excellency had alluded to the injustice to which the convicted soldiers were subjected in an interview aired by the BBC Hausa service on December 28, 2015. On that occasion Your Excellency made a strong case for the convicts when you rightly observed that ‘The government at that time sent the soldiers to the battlefield without arms and ammunition to prosecute the war. That was what led some of them to mutiny. They were arrested and detained because of this.’

“It is public knowledge that the Federal Government and some State Governments have recently granted pardon and rehabilitated hundreds of terrorists who had waged war against Nigeria and subjected unarmed citizens to egregious human rights abuse. The soldiers who were convicted of mutiny for demanding for weapons to fight such terrorist deserve to be granted pardon and rehabilitated by the Federal Government.”

Lady Decency
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