By Francis Okoye, Maiduguri
A general court-martial sitting in Maiduguri, Borno State, has sentenced a soldier to death over the alleged shooting to death of five civilians.
John Godwin, a lance corporal, was said to have killed five rescued civilians in Yamteke town.
In a statement yesterday, the deputy director, Army Public Relations, 7 Division, Kingsley Mfon Samuel, said Godwin was serving in ’Operation Lafiya Dole’ when he reportedly committed the crime.
He was charged with murder, which is punishable under section 106 (a) of Armed Forces Act (Cap A20).
The civilians he reportedly killed were said to have been earlier rescued by troops of his battalion and were being taken for investigation when he shot them.
At the court martial, other soldiers were handed jail sentences for various offences ranging from manslaughter to illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.
Innocent Ototo, a sergeant, was sentenced to life imprisonment for manslaughter after allegedly torturing and killing a 13-year-old boy who, he claimed, stole his phone.
According to the army, the incident happened in the Zamanbari area of Maiduguri, Borno State.
Benjamin Osage, a lance corporal, and Sunday Onwe, a private, were sentenced to 20 years imprisonment each for offences bordering on manslaughter and illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.
Gbenga Olusegun Adesina, a brigadier general who served as the president of the court martial, said the offences of the soldiers were contrary to the army’s rules of engagement.