Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Nigeria court martials 59 soldiers

16 October 2014, 09:23

Abuja - Fifty-nine Nigerian soldiers appeared before a military tribunal on Wednesday charged with mutiny and conspiracy to commit mutiny over claims that they refused to fight Boko Haram militants.

The soldiers, all members of the 111th Special Forces Battalion, all pleaded not guilty at a general court martial sitting in the capital, Abuja.

Last month, 12 Nigerian soldiers were sentenced to death for mutiny after shots were fired at their commanding officer in the restive northeast city of Maiduguri earlier this year.

The 59 soldiers are charged with "conspiring to commit mutiny against the authorities of 7 Division, Nigerian Army," which is in the front line of the counter-insurgency.

They are also accused of refusing to deploy in August to recapture the towns of Yelwa, Bellabulini and Dambo in Borno state from Boko Haram, according to the charge sheet.

Also read: Nigerian army says verifying credibility of Boko Haram video

A total of 97 soldiers appeared in court on 2 October on a range of charges related to the fight against Boko Haram, whose insurgency has claimed thousands of lives since 2009.

Prosecutor Joseph Nwosu told the court: "When the prosecution is through with its evidence against the accused soldiers, you will not be left with any doubt as to their guilt of the offences charged."

But Femi Falana, defending, told the panel that there was "no atom of evidence to back up the charges".

Largest mutiny trial

He added: "At the end of the day, we are going to show that what the accused persons were alleged upon has nothing to do with mutiny.

"This is the largest number of soldiers ever put on mutiny trial in Nigeria.

"So, this trial is going to be historic and we are going to convince your lordship that these soldiers should not have been brought here."

Nigeria's military has been under pressure to claw back territory seized by the militants in the northeast states of Yobe, Borno and Adamawa, which has led to fears of a loss of government control.

There have been reports that Nigerian soldiers have refused to deploy for operations and even fled before and during Boko Haram attacks.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
George Vodongo
President renews calls for nation...

President Uhuru Kenyatta has called on Kenyans to instead focus on unity, cohesion and prosperity as the country approaches the campaigns period. Read more...

Submitted by
S Mbinya
What causes cellulite?

Cellulite usually affects the thighs, buttocks, waist and upper arms.  Read more...

Submitted by
Ben Wangui
IEBC selection panel settles on B...

The panel appointed by President Uhuru Kenyatta to recruit new IEBC commissioners has picked Bernadette Musundi as its chairperson. Read more...

Submitted by
Ben Wangui
Uhuru Kenyatta's bag of goodies t...

He promised to go back with more goodies next week. Read more...

Submitted by
Solomon Opala
Are women after money only

Many feel that it takes only a fat wallet to please a woman. Read more...

Submitted by
George Vodongo
Kalonzo says he will defeat UhuRu...

Wiper leader Kalonzo Musyoka has expressed confidence that he will send the Jubilee government home in the upcoming Presidential election. Read more...