Mutiny: Three soldiers appeal against death sentence

Three of the soldiers sentenced to death for mutiny on
September 15, 2014 have appealed against the judgment of
the General Court Martial.

Their 11 ground-appeal was filed before the Court of Appeal
in Abuja on October 9.

The appellants are Igomu Emmanuel, Stephen Clement and
Andrew Ngbede with service numbers 09NA/62/1648/LCPL,
03NA/53/1816/CPL and 09NA/64/4214/PTE, respectively.

The three appellants are part of the 12 soldiers whom a
General Court Martial, led by Brig.-Gen. C.C Okonkwo, found
guilty of criminal conspiracy, mutiny and attempt to murder
and were sentenced to death by firing squad on September
15, 2014.

The 12 soldiers were arraigned before the General Court
Martial for allegedly attacking the former General Officer
Commanding the 7th Division of the Nigerian Army, Ahmadu
Mohammed,
However the three appellants had through their lawyer,
Chief Godwin Obla (SAN), filed an appeal against the
judgment.

They described their conviction for conspiracy to commit
mutiny as perverse decision while also alleging that the
court martial failed to consider the defence of alibi which
was never investigated.

Specifically, ground one of the appeal states, “The General
Court Martial erred in law and thus occasioned a
miscarriage of justice when it disregarded the objection of
the defence counsel raised before and at the arraignment of
the appellant on the defective nature of the charge brought
against the appellant.”

On the particulars of the error as described in their first
ground of appeal, the soldiers noted that they were charged
and convicted largely on the basis of section 114 of the

Armed Forces Act which they argued none of its subsections
disclosed any offence known to law against them.

They averred that count 1 of the charges preferred against
them was ambiguous, uncertain and defective as they were
charged under section 114 of the Armed Forces Act and punished under section 97 (1) of the Penal Code Law.
In their second ground of appeal, the soldiers maintained
that the General Court Martial erred in law and “thus came
to a perverse decision when it based its decision solely on
an equivocal, indirect, negative, uncorroborated and
suspicious circumstantial evidence in convicting them for
attempt to commit murder”.

They noted that the GOC of 7 Division, Maj-Gen. Ahmadu
Mohammed, whom they were accused of attempting to
murder by firing shots at his official vehicle, was never led
by the prosecution to give evidence to show that it was their
shot that hit the rear of the car in issue.

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