Army court-martials 59 soldiers for mutiny, insubordination

By The Citizen

A number of 59 soldiers on Wednesday faced trial by the military court martial for criminal conspiracy to commit mutiny and for disobeying the order of their commanding officer in Maiduguri.

The court martial seating in Abuja charged the soldiers with offences which include criminal conspiracy to commit mutiny on August 4, 2014 in Maiduguri.

The accused soldiers were also charged with mutiny for refusing to obey the orders of their commanding officer, Lt. Col. Timothy Opurum, of the 111 Special Forces Battalion, to take part in an operation.

The judge advocate, Lt. Col Ukpe Ukpe, who read the charges to them, said the operation in question was meant‎ to recapture Yelwa, Bellabulini, and Damboa in Borno State.

The Commander of the 111 Special Forces Battalion is currently testifying before the military panel.

Although, the Army authorities initially planned to charge 60 soldiers for mutiny, the charges against one of the accused was dropped because of ill health. The lead prosecutor, Capt. Joseph Nwosu, called the attention of the court to the fact that the 11th accused person, CPL Anthony Simon, was too sick to be arraigned. He said the list of accused had to be amended to reflect that 59 people are being arraigned for mutiny. The 59 accused soldiers are being defended by the law firm of Mr. Femi Falana.