From: Timothy Olanrewaju, Maiduguri
The Nigerian Army has sentenced three soldiers to various jail terms for illegal possession of ammunitions.
A General Court Marshal of 7 Division of the Army, in Maiduguri, on Wednesday, pronounced Eric Nwokere and Macaulay Fortune both deployed to the counter-insurgency operational area in the northeast, guilty of unlawfully possessing fire arms contrary to Section 27 (1) (a & b) (i & ii) of the Firearms Act.
Nwokere and Fortune were arrested with five empty AK-47 rifle magazines and 20,136 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition at Jumputu Motor Park, Jimeta, Yola, Adamawa State, while boarding a commercial vehicle to an unknown destination, the court said. They were convicted and sentenced to 23 years imprisonment.
Another soldier, Garba Saidu, a corporal was jailed 10 years. He was arrested and charged for illegal possession of 2,800 rounds of 7.2mm (Special) ammunition. Upon his arrest, the ammunition he was illegally possessing was discovered to have been hidden by him at a poultry farm near the Tipper Garage in Maiduguri.
President of the Court Marshal, Lt Col Adamu Hassan said the decision of the court was arrived after close of submissions by both the prosecution and defense counsels. He said the prosecution has proven the case “beyond reasonable doubt in line with the burden of proof on the prosecutor to prove all criminal case beyond reasonable doubt.”
The General Court Marshal of the 7 Divison was inaugurated by the General Officer Commanding (GOC) to try allegations and cases of misconduct reportedly committed by officers and men deployed to the theatre of operation against Boko Haram insurgency in the northeast.