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CNPP asks Buhari to Pardon 66 Convicted Soldiers

Valentine Chinyem

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Conference of Nige­ria Political Par­ties (CNPP), has pleaded with President Muhammadu Buhari to reinstate the 66 soldiers whose death sentence was reversed to 10 years imprisonment.

The group said its call became necessary in view of revelations emanating from the trial of former National Security Ad­viser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd).

In a statement issued yesterday by national pub­licity secretary of CNPP, Mr. Osita Okechukwu, the group called on President Buhari “to use his prerog­ative power to graciously pardon and reinstate the ‘Soldier Mutineers’ as per the war against Boko Ha­ram insurgents; for the Dasuki-Gate has vindicat­ed them.”

While saluting the Chief of Army Staff for review of the sentences as announced by Acting Director of Army Public Relations, Colonel Sani Kukasheka Usman, the CNPP said: “In addition to the review of some of the sentences by the Chief of Army Staff, we still appeal to Mr. President and Com­mander-in-Chief to, as a matter of urgent national importance, pardon and reinstate the mutinous soldiers.

“Our appeal is an­chored on the premise that they were starved of equipment as evi­denced by their plead­ings in the court mar­tial – that they were ill-equipped. Indeed, the only charge proved against them at the trial was that they had the te­merity to ask for equip­ment to combat insur­gency.

“Fortunately, or un­fortunately, the reasons for the sordid scenario of dearth of equipment, which led to the mu­tiny, is clearly gazetted by Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd), erstwhile Nation­al Security Adviser and his colleagues.

“CNPP believes it is Da­suki and his colleagues, who engaged in accumu­lation and unpatriotic diversion of arms fund to private pockets, that the Federal Government should urgently try for criminal conspiracy, mur­der and subversion of the Nigerian state. Their trial is not just minor trial for money laundering and other quasi charges, but treason.”