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article imageNigerian military sentences 54 soldiers to death for mutiny

By Karen Graham     Dec 17, 2014 in World
Nigeria has sentenced 54 soldiers to death by firing squad Wednesday for mutiny, assault, cowardice and refusing to fight Islamic extremists. The soldiers, including officers, were convicted on two charges criminal conspiracy to commit mutiny.
The convicted soldiers were attached to the Seventh Division of the Nigerian Army in Maiduguri. and include two corporals, nine lance corporals and 49 privates. Six soldiers were acquitted of the charges. The court-martial charges were all connected to a refusal by the group to deploy and attempt to recapture three towns seized by Boko Haram in August of this year.
The mutiny was alleged to have taken place at the Mulai Primary School camp, opposite AIT Maiduguri, Borno State. The trial began on October 15 with the prosecutor, J.E. Nwosu, an army Captain, alleging that the soldiers "on August 4, in Maiduguri, refused to join the 111 Special Forces Battalion troops, commanded by Timothy Opurum, a Lieutenant Colonel for an operation." according to the Premium Times.
This is the second time this year that soldiers have been court-marshaled and sentenced to death. In September, 12 soldiers were sentenced to death for mutiny and attempted murder of the commander in the counter-insurgency. He had been accused of causing the deaths of a number of soldiers ambushed and killed by Boko Haram militants on a road frequented by the group at night.
Nigerian troops have complained frequently that they are "outgunned' by Boko Haram and not being paid the full amount of pay due to them. They say they are often abandoned on the battlefield without ammunition and food.
More about Boko Haram, Higeria, Court martial, commit mutiny, five acquitted
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