December 3, 2010

Adetokunbo Kayode Esq, SAN,
Hon Minister of Defence
& Chairman Army Council
Ministry of Defence
Abuja.

REQUEST FOR THE REINSTATEMENT OF THE 27 SOLDERS PARDONED BY THE ARMY COUNCIL.

We remain solicitors to the following solders:

1.    SGT. AKWARA OLIVER
2.    CPL PRINCEWILL ONWUNARE
3.    CPL ABBASS SALISU   
4.    CPL PAUL MAIKUDI
5.    LCPL OKANI POPE
6.    LCPL LAWAL ABUBAKAR
7.    LCPL PASCAL STEPHEN
8.    LCPL JOHN FELIX
9.    LCPL YOMI IBUKUN
10.    LCPL LOVEDAY MMAPIE
11.    LCPL UMAR ABDULKADIR
12.    LCPL MUSA SALISU,
13.    LCPL IBRAHIM YUSUF,
14.    LCPL INNOCENT EGBUNA,
15.    LCPL WANOGHO SHEDRACK
16.    LCPL BELLO ZAHRADEEN
17.    PTE CHUKWUDI ONWUKANJO
18.    PTE JONATHAN KOMO
19.    PTE SAMUEL OGBE
20.    PTE NKAWOR ESTHER
21.    PTE MARY IDOKO
22.    PTE OLANIHUN YETUNDE
23.    PTE ANTHOGAN JONATHAN
24.    PTE SALISU IBRAHIM
25.    PTE ADARALOYE OLALEKAN
26.    PTE KABIRU MOHAMMED and
27.    PTE ANUKAN KELECHI

We have confirmed that our petition dated October 7, 2010 for the review of the confirmation of the conviction of our clients has been considered by the Army Council. According to the Public Relations Officer of the Nigerian Army, Brigadier-General Chris Olukolade the Army Council has granted pardon to the aforementioned solders, commuted their prison terms to discharge from military service and directed that they be paid all their due entitlements.

While thanking your good self and other members of the Army Council for reviewing the unfortunate case of our clients we are compelled to demand for their re-instatement on the ground that their rights and privileges have been restored as a result of the pardon extended to them. This request is anchored on the decision of the Court of Appeal in the case of Oluyemisi Falae v Olusegun Obasanjo (1999) 4NWLR 476 495 where Musdapher JCA (as he then was) stated that “A pardon is an act of grace by the appropriate authority which mitigates or obliterates the punishment the law demands for the offence and restores the rights and the privileges forfeited on account of the offence. See Verneco Inc. v. Fidelity & Cas C. New York 253 LA 721, 219 SO 2D 508, 511. The effect of a pardon is to make the offender, a new man (novus homo), to acquit him of all of corporal penalties and forfeitures annexed to the offence pardoned”.

Our request is also predicated on the case of Corporal Segun Oladele & 22 Ors. v. Nigerian Army (2003) 36 WRN 68 wherein the Appellants who were flown to Egypt for medical treatment demonstrated at the Cairo Airport to protest the diversion of their allowance  and lack of adequate medical treatment after serving Africa in the ECOMOG Peace Keeping Forces in Liberia and Sierra Leone. They were brought home and charged with mutiny, convicted and sentenced to various prisons terms including life imprisonment. They were however re-instated by the Nigerian Army following the annulment of their conviction and sentences by the Court of Appeal.

As you are no doubt familiar with the two cases cited above we are confident that you will use your good offices to ensure that this case is further revisited with a view to reinstating our clients whose rights and privileges have been restored following their pardon by the Army Council.

Please accept the assurances of our highest esteem.

Yours sincerely,

FEMI FALANA

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