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Soldier sentenced to death over ‘murder of five civilians’

Soldier sentenced to death over ‘murder of five civilians’
December 15
17:15 2017

A general court-martial sitting in Maiduguri, Borno, has sentenced a soldier to death over alleged murder.

John Godwin, a lance corporal, was said to have killed five rescued civilians in Yamteke town.

Godwin was serving in the Lafiya Dole operation, Kingsley Mfon Samuel, deputy director 7 division army public relations, said in a statement on Friday.

He was charged with murder, which is punishable under section 106 (a) of Armed Forces Act (Cap A20).

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The civilians he reportedly killed were said to have been earlier rescued by troops of his battalion and were being taken for investigation when he shot them.

At the court martial, other soldiers were handed jail sentences for various offences ranging from manslaughter to illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.

Innocent Ototo, a sergeant, was sentenced to life imprisonment for manslaughter after allegedly torturing and killing a 13-year-old boy who he claimed stole his phone.

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According to the army, the incident happened in the Zamanbari area of Maiduguri.

Benjamin Osage, a lance corporal, and Sunday Onwe, a private, were sentenced to 20 years imprisonment each for offences bordering on manslaughter and illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.

Gbenga Olusegun Adesina, a brigadier general who served as the president of the court martial, said the offences of the soldiers run contrary to army’s rules of engagement.

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