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Femi Falana, a Nigerian lawyer and human rights activist, has urged the federal government to pardon the 54 soldiers released on Tuesday after serving 10 years jail term.
Falana stated this while speaking with the released soldiers on Tuesday.
He said: “We want to congratulate you for coming out of the custody. You have learned some lessons. Behave well, be dedicated and patriotic. I assured you that you won’t be killed.
Falana added that: “Those who sentenced you made you a sacrificial lamb. You were asking for a weapon to fight because Boko Haram were fully armed. You deserve pardon, you must be allowed to go back to your work. I know some of you are more religious now. That is what happens in the custody. We are pursuing your matter that you will be acquitted”.
However, two of the soldiers, Anagu Mark and Amoo Bukola, also begged the federal government to pardon them.
They said: “The federal government should allow us to go back to work. All we need is a sophisticated weapon and you will see us fighting Boko Haram”
The Nigerian soldiers who were convicted since 2014 were charged with mutiny.
They were sentenced to death. However, the death sentence was commuted to 10 years jail term after the case was reviewed.
Falana, who represented the soldiers during the military court-martial, noted that “the only allegation proved against them at the courts-martial was that they protested the refusal of the military authorities to provide weapons to fight insurgency.”