The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, in Lagos, has condemned the death sentence passed by the Military Court on 12 soldiers who on May 14, 2014 fired shots at the General Officer Commanding the newly created 7 Division of the Nigerian Army, Ahmed Mohammed, in Maiduguri, Borno State.
The Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, on its part, urged the Federal Government to temper justice with mercy and save the lives of the 12 soldiers.
TUC, while approving the efforts of the military to retain discipline in the force as exemplified in a military court that sat in Abuja, Monday, insisted death sentence was off the mark.
Bobboi Kaigama, President of TUC and Musa Lawal, Secretary General of TUC, in a press statement said: “We appreciate the court’s judgment because apart from bringing to the fore the constitutional role and code of conduct of our military, it will check the excesses of some security operatives who betray their oath of allegiance to the country through sabotage. While we applaud these laudable efforts, we would also want to remind government and the military leadership that in as much the Congress will not encourage revolt or disobedience to military authorities, we will also not fail to reject and condemn the death sentence passed by the General Court-martial on 12 soldiers protesting perceived internal sabotage in the ongoing war against Boko Haram.”
Speaking in the same vein, Austin Alegeh, President, Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, yesterday, said though the soldiers acted wrongly, the Federal Government should find another way of punishing them.
“There is no doubt that the military law is also a part of our body of laws which anyone who decided to join the military must subscribe to. However, the security situation we are confronted with as a nation today is not such that we should start killing our soldiers. We are losing so many of our soldiers to Boko Haram. Why should we kill some by ourselves?” he said.