- Following the granting of state pardons by President Buhari to some Nigerians, some living and others dead, MURIC has pleaded for another set of pardons for 54 soldiers
- MURIC said the soldiers, who cried out publicly for weapons to fight Boko Haram insurgents, should be treated as heroes, not criminals
- The group hailed Buhari's timely and humane pardons but says justice should also be done in the case of the jailed 54
President Muhammadu Buhari has been urged to extend his presidential pardon to 54 Nigerian soldiers who are currently languishing in jail for reportedly speaking the truth.
Islamic human rights advocacy group, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), which made the call on Friday, April 10, said the soldiers deserved heroes treatment, not jail terms.
While hailing President Buhari's move as timely and humane, MURIC said justice would be seen to have been done in the case of the jailed soldiers if they are also pardoned for actions that led to the uncovering of the infamous armsgate scandal.
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In a statement signed by MURIC's director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, MURIC said the 54 soldiers of the Nigerian Army are currently serving a 10-year jail term for requesting for better weapons to fight Boko Haram.
“Some of the 54 soldiers are in Kirikiri and Ikoyi correctional centres. We urge the presidential team to visit those places. The war against terror will remain shady until the authorities give justice its prime of place.
"Funds meant for the purchase of weapons were being diverted to private pockets while our soldiers were stinted of vital equipment. Nobody knew about this fraud until the 54 soldiers cried out. It led to the exposure of the $2.1 billion armsgate.
"But instead of hailing the 54 soldiers as heroes of the land, they were clamped in jail. We hereby appeal to the committee handling the implementation of the presidential amnesty to consider them.”
MURIC had made a similar call over almost four years ago when it also urged President Buhari to pardon the soldiers.
Legit.ng notes that the soldiers MURIC referred to were tried on charges of mutiny and accused of disobeying a direct order from their superior officers.
Mutiny in the military is punishable by death.
MURIC's latest call came just hours after Legit.ng reported that President Buhari Buhari granted state pardons to some individuals, including posthumous ones to late Ambrose Alli and late Chief Anthony Enahoro.
The pardons were confirmed in Abuja on Thursday, April 9, by the minister of interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola.
Aregbesola said three other high profile persons were also granted a pardon from the presidential amnesty.
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