Two Soldiers Jailed 23 Yrs Each for Illegal Possession of Firearms

Two soldiers have bagged 23 years imprisonment each for unlawful possession of firearms, while another was jailed for 10 years.
A Military General Court Marshal handed down the verdict Wednesday after finding the soldiers guilty of the said offences.
President of the Court Marshal, Lt.-Col. Adamu Hassan, said that the court had found the suspects guilty as charged and sentenced them under sections 27 (1) (A and B) (I and II) of the Firearms Act.
Gen. Hassan said that the court was convinced by the prosecution evidences presented against the suspects on the five-count charge, and therefore sentenced each of the convicts to 23 years imprisonment.
He added that the verdict would run consecutively.
The soldiers were arraigned in the court on a five-count of conspiracy and unlawful possession of firearms contrary to section 3 of the Fire Arms Act.
The Lead Prosecution Counsel, Lt Col Nkenah Nyaro, had earlier told the court that the convicts were apprehended while in possession of five empty-magazines of AK 47 rifle and 20, 136 rounds of 7.62 mm special ammunition.
Other charges were the unlawful possession of several rounds of NATO ammunition, two rounds of Brownie machine gun and conspiracy to steal.
The prosecution argued that the convicts, Trooper Eric Nwokere and Trooper M Fortune, were arrested while in possession of the ammunition at Jumputu Motor Park, Jimeta, Yola, while boarding a commercial vehicle to an unknown destination.
In his submission, the Defence Counsel, S. M. Bala, pleaded for leniency, in view of the fact that the soldiers were never convicted before.
“The suspects spent 16 months in detention. We pray for prescription of fine or demotion as against imprisonment,” Bala said.
Delivering the verdict, the President of the Court, noted that the decision of the court was arrived at, after the close of submissions by both the prosecution and defence counsels. The court also convicted and sentenced another soldier, Cpl Garba Saidu, to 10 years imprisonment for unlawful possession of ammunition.
The soldier was arraigned in the court on two counts of illegal possession of 2, 800 rounds of 7.2mm (Special) ammunition.

Author: News Editor

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