Two soldiers have been sentenced to 10 years imprisonment over human rights abuses in the Borno State axis of Operation Lafiya Doyle.
They were sentenced by the military court martial set up to try cases of rights abuses by military men in the heart of the theatre.
The two soldiers were charged for abduction, demanding and receiving the sum of N1m as ransom from their victim.
The President of the General Court Martial (GCM) 7 Division Nigeria of Army Brig. Gen. Olusegun Adesina while delivering judgement on Wednesday said the action of the soldiers was unlawful and against the ethics of the armed forces.
Brig. Gen Adesina said the accused stood trial on 3 count charge, including abduction of Alhaji Hassan on the 19th November, 2017, at his residents in Ruwan Shanfi area of Maiduguri to unknown location, forceful demand and reception of the sum of N1m after he was threatened and labeled as Boko Haram terrorists’ sponsor”.
The soldiers confessed committing the offence, he said.
The soldiers further narrated that they “invaded the victim’s (Alhaji Hassan) house with a Honda 98 model and dragged the victim out and forcefully took him to Railway Area of Maiduguri, where he was threatened and tagged as Boko Haram sponsor and subsequently demanded N3m.
“However, the victim begged and agreed to pay a million naira and then, he took the accused soldiers to his shop at Banban line district where he gave them N1m naira as promised”.
In his judgment, Brig. Gen. Adesina said: ”Having considered all pleadings by defence counsel, on 1st count charge, you Sergeant Aliyu Hassan and Corporal Nasiru Bello are hereby sentenced to five years in prison for abduction.
“On count 2 charges that your rank from Sergeant has reduced to Corporal and also your rank from Corporal to private for illegal behaviour on uniform; third count charge for extortion of N1m from victims, you are are hereby sentenced to five years in prison respectively and service of term shall runs concurrently,” Brig. Gen. Adesina held.