For emptying his magazine on and killing a superior officer, a trooper, Private Azunna Maduabuchi, is to face death by firing squad, the 7 Division General Court Martial sitting in Maiduguri has declared.
Maduabuchi killed his adjutant, Lt. Babakaka Ngorgi, for denying him a pass to see his family.
The sentences on him and others are subject to confirmation by the appropriate superior authority as provided under Section 151 Sub Section 1b and Section 152 Sub section 1b of the Armed Forces Act.
In his judgement on Tuesday, the President of the Court, Brig. -Gen. Arikpo Ekubi, said to Maduabuchi, “You intentionally opened fire and empty your magazine of nine rounds of ammunition on the deceased officer, Lt. B.S Ngorgi, who was the Adjutant of 212 Battalion, Bama, which led to his instant death.
“You betrayed the trust and confidence reposed on you by the Nigerian Army to ensure dignity and respect for human life.
“Your action is therefore viewed with displeasure and as affront to efforts of the present leadership of Nigerian Army which emphasised the protection of human rights and professionalism in the discharge of its constitutional roles.
“While condemning your action of unlawfully killing the deceased officer in a gruesome manner, this court consider the plea in mitigation punishment by your counsel, the General Court Martial takes cognisance of all your counsel has said and the fact that you are involved in the Theatre of Operation.
“However, the gravity of the crime that you have committed against the innocent officer which by application is a crime against humanity and an attempt to drag the good name of Nigerian Army into mud must be sanctioned appropriately.
“The general court martial for the offence of murder as provided by section 106 of the Armed Forces Act is death. This sentence is to be carried out by firing squad,” he said.
Four other soldiers were convicted for manslaughter for their involvement in torturing a civilian, one Peter Apogu to death over a missing car battery.
Sgt. Sani Ishaya, the leader of the team was sentenced to four years in prison, Lance Cpl. Fabiyi Bidemi is to serve two years, while Privates. Adamu Abdulrashid and Musa Bala are to serve one year each.
Private Mohammed Kuru got three years in prison for accidental discharge at a civilian wedding ceremony that killed a 12 year-old-boy.
One Lance Cpl. Aja Emmauel was demoted to private for assaulting a civilian causing him “grievous bodily harm”.