Army court sentences three soldiers to 33 years imprisonment in Borno

The Nigerian Army Court Martial (NACM) sitting in Maiduguri has sentenced three soldiers to 23 years and 10 years imprisonment respectively for various offences.

The jailed soldiers are among troops under Operation Lafiya Dole fighting Boko Haram terrorism in North-East sub-region of the country. The soldiers sentenced for 23 years imprisonment, Eric Nwokoye and Fortune Macaulay, were accused to have conspired to steal five empty AK-47 rifle magazines, 2,136 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition, 50 rounds of 7.62mm NATO ammunition and two rounds of Browning machine gun ammunition.

They were said to have been arrested wearing civil clothes when some of the ammunition fell off their private baggage as they prepared to board a commercial vehicle at Jambutu Motor Park in Jimeta, Yola.

The other, Corporal Garba Saidu, found guilty on a two-count charge of stealing two boxes of 1,400 round of 7.62mm special ammunition each totalling 2,800, which he hid at a poultry farm belonging to a policeman at the trailer park, Maiduguri, was given a sentence of 10 years imprisonment.

President of NACM, Lt.-Col. Adamu Hassan Jahun, said the accused soldiers had been found guilty of charges against them and therefore sentenced to ensure maintenance of discipline in the ongoing operation and in the Army in general.

The jail terms, according to Jahun, are however subject to confirmation as provided by the Armed Forces Act.In another development, no fewer than seven workers and members of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID) and Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF), were yesterday rescued by troops of 5 Brigade of Nigerian Army in a joint operation with Civilian JTF in Jilli-Bornoyesu axis of Borno State.

The joint rescue operation, which lasted into the early hours of Monday, led to the recovery of several arms and ammunition and four vehicles that were snatched in the Boko Haram ambush and abduction.

The Chairman, Magumeri Local Council of Borno State, Zanna Modu, who confirmed this in a telephone interview yesterday, also expressed happiness that almost all the suspects, who partook in the attacks and kidnappings, were killed by the troops.

He said although details of the number of casualties from the side of terrorists was high, he would not pre-empt any statement which could be issued to journalists and security operatives.

Meanwhile, the United Nations Office for Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN-OCHA) has condemned the deadly suicide attacks at the Internally-Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in the outskirts of Maiduguri, Borno State.

The UN-OCHA, which “condemned in strong terms” last Monday’s deadly Boko Haram suicide attack on civilians taking refuge at Dalori I and Dalori II IDP camps, described it as a serious violation of international human rights.

In a statement issued yesterday in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, its Co-ordinator for Nigeria, Edward Kallon, bemoaned the accelerating trend of suicide attacks against civilians in the region that have resulted in the deaths of several people, including women and children, and injured many others over the past few months.

Kallon said: “I convey my condolences to the bereaved and wish all the injured displaced persons a speedy recovery.“The women, children and men who are living in camps for displaced persons have already endured such hardship and loss – from displacement, to hunger, illness and thirst. Many have lost everything, including their homes and livelihoods. They deserve to live in peace.”

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