The Petition That Gave The 27 Soldiers Their Freedom

By Femi Falana

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

Comments
7 comment(s)
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JOSEPHINE KADO PLS BE CAREFUL

Josephine Kado pls you should be grateful that someone like Femi Falana still exists in Nigeria. however, he cannot fight alone. Others need to to step up against opperession, Rosa Park wasnt a lawyer nethier was mandela,Martin luther king, Mathma Ghandi. By the way Same Femi Falana stood in for Henry okah when the Niger Delta struggle was genuine and purposeful.
Pls learn to appreciate.

re

say what you know.

Eyes Wide Open

These were the soldiers that were told that on their returned from peacekeeping Operations they will be paid after two weeks,but four months after their return nothing happen in fact they were frame for 'mutiny' Instead of accepting the fact that they err,they shifted the blame on the soldiers.Generals where is your Army?Must Femi Falana open your eyes to see? Am sure you are learning the hard way.

A good lawyer

A good lawyer I am told is one that knows the exceptions to the law and uses the same for public defense. May God bless you Femi Falana. More grease to your elbows!

Re: femi falana go and stand for

@ Josephine Kado, I wish to call your attention to your uncouth words towards an honourable Nigerian doing a wonderful work in the legal system. Please may I inform you that venting your anger on innocent person who has not joined league with the corrupt politicians to loot the treasury of this nation is uncalled for. If you have any issue bothering you, you can as well transmit such with dignity or go to the appropriate quarters to lodge your complaints.

Mr Femi Falana, deserved kudos for his doggedness in this case. I have tried to follow this case and I have resented Nigerian Army for this singular act. Most of these senior Army officers, I am very sure cannot even operate an automated weapon much less going to battle field. It is pathetic that Nigerians are good at judging others from our parochial and selfish points of view while the world watch in derision.

Most of us in foreign countries spent alot of time and energy to clear the "dirty image" the name, Nigeria has brought to us not because we are all bad but because it has become a common palance that Nigerians are corrupt and bad.

I know with unwavering decisions to fight for justice, like Mr. Falana did, we will bring Nigeria out of its present condition.

Mike Olu.
Cambridge, UK

femi falana go and stand for

femi falana go and stand for the 150 nigerians killed in niger delta.go and fight for the igerian education system collapsing not for some soldiers demonstrating.

If the judiciary can show the requisite courage................

As it stands in Nigeria today, the judiciary is the very last beacon of hope for us all. The looters has imposed themselves, without shame, without honour, without any sense of decency, and with no pity on the thousands whose lives are lost daily because of their wickedness.
No illusion that the looters will respect the judicial rulings all the times, but we are beginning to see flicker of light. The elections tribunals have given some reason to hope.
When looters like Bankole ignore the orders of a judge, they only show the dept of their shallowness.
Lawyers like Femi Falana are writing their names in the golden books of everyday oppressed Nigerians. You don't think God will reward people like him, think again.

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