Nigeria News
NLC Seeks Lighter Sentence for Condemned Soldiers

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The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has called on the authorities of the Nigerian Army to commute the death sentences recently passed on 12 soldiers found guilty of mutiny, to light sentences.

It noted that while the sentences may be ‘legally correct’, their execution would not restore discipline to the military by fiat.

The acting President of the congress, Promise Adewusi, while addressing a press conference in Abuja yesterday, warned that executing the soldiers could sow a seed of major security problem in the armed forces”since the problem of corruption, poor kitting, equipping and treachery are said to be common to virtually all the military units or formations in the conflict area.”

Recalling the circumstances that led to the mutiny last May, Adewusi lamented that the General Officer Commanding (GOC) in questioned was not tried, but rather promptly posted out and retired, even though when he gave the tragic orders, he represented the Nigerian Army.

“Our belief is that true justice should go beyond legalism to address fundamental issues in any given situation,” he added, descring the sentences as harsh, insensitive and unacceptable.

“We expect the military council or the appropriate authority, whose responsibility it is to review sentences of this nature, to commute the sentence to a more tolerable or acceptable one,” Adewusi noted.

It is important that commanders earn the confidence of their troops, Adewusi said, adding that cohesion is needed in the armed forces now more than ever.
He also called on Nigerians to rally round the armed forces in their struggle to end insurgency and protect Nigeria’s territorial integrity.

“And as part of the process of addressing the conflicts and crises in our armed forces, we demand that the war be prosecuted in a more transparent, human and orderly manner,” he added.

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