Femi Falana, a human rights activist and lawyer, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to grant amnesty and release 12 soldiers jailed for committing mutiny.
Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), made the request in a letter entitled: “Request for the Release of 12 Convicted Inmates in the Kirikiri and Ikoyi Custodial Centres, Lagos”, and addressed to Rauf Aregbesola, Minister of Interior.
The names of the soldiers, as contained in Falana’s letter to Aregbesola are Lieutenant Corporal Yusuf Shuaibu, Corporal Jasper Braidolor, Corporal David Musa, Lieutenant Corporal Friday Onuh, Lieutenant Corporal Igono Emmanuel and Lieutenant Corporal Stephen Clement.
Read Also: Kaduna Relaxes Lockdown Restriction
Others are Private Andrew Ngbede, Private Nurudeen Ahmed, Private Allan Linus, Private Ifeanyi Alukhagbe, Private Amadi Chukwudi and Private Alao Samue.
The soldiers were sentenced to death on September 16, 2014, but upon appeal had their sentence was commuted to a 10-year jail term.
According to Falana, the request was made since the soldiers have spent more than 75 per cent of their time in prison and are, therefore, qualified to benefit from the amnesty granted by President Buhari.
The letter read: “Our clients were charged before a General Court-Martial with a six-count charge of committing mutiny, criminal conspiracy to commit mutiny, attempted murder, disobedience to particular orders, insubordinate behaviour contrary to and punishable under the law, and false accusation.
“At the end of the trial, they were convicted and sentenced to death.
“However, upon a review of the case of our clients, the confirming authority upheld the conviction but commuted the death sentence to 10 years imprisonment.
“Since our clients are entitled to remission of the 10-year jail term, they are required to spend a total of 80 months in prison custody. From September 16, 2014, to April 20, 2020, our clients have spent over 67 months in custody.
“In exercise of the powers of Prerogative of Mercy under Section 175 of the Constitution, President Muhammadu Buhari has granted amnesty to certain categories of convicted inmates, including those who have spent 75% of their sentence after remission.
“Having been in custody for 67 months out of the prison term of 80 months, you will agree with us that our clients have spent more than 75% of their 10-year imprisonment.”