Mutiny: Falana, Agbakoba To Defend Condemned Soldiers

As mixed reactions continue to trail the death sentence recently passed on 12 of the 18 soldiers charged with mutiny by the Army, Femi Falana, lawyer and human rights activist, has said himself and Olisa Agbakoba, former president of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, have decided to take up the case and defend the soldiers for free. He said this today at the 2014 annual convention of Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders, CACOL, in Lagos.

The human rights lawyer believes the soldiers were erroneously charged under section 52(1) of the Armed Forces Act because the General Officer Commanding, 7 Division, whose car was shot at was not killed, and they were charged with attempted murder which does not attract the death penalty.

He emphasized that the interest of justice, the facts and circumstance of the mutinous act of the convicted soldiers should be taken into consideration. In his view, Muiz Banire, lawyer and former commissioner for environment, Lagos, believes the development will have negative impact on the fight against the insurgency.

“The federal government should have used the situation to call the soldiers and ask them about what they need to improve on their performance in the war but I am afraid this will further reduce the morale of other soldiers,” he said.

However, while speaking on the convention theme of the CACOL convention, “Institutionalizing Probity And Accountability In Governance: Perspective And Methodologies,” Falana condemned the level of corruption at various social, religion, industrial and political institutions in the country.

He ascribed the level of corruption in the country to what he described as the feeble commitment of the government to get rid of the menace.

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