An Abuja court of appeal has stayed the ordered execution of two of the twelve Nigerian soldiers court martialled by the army authorities last September.
These soldiers had been tried by the General Court Martial which sat at the Army Headquarters Garrison, Mogadishu Cantonment in Abuja, on accusation of offences of conspiracy to commit mutiny and mutiny under the armed forces act 2004.
Three of the convicted officers, CPL Stephen Clement, CPL Igomu Emmanuel and Private Andrew Ngbede went to the appellate court with their lawyers, Chief Godwin Obla (SAN), to challenge the decision of the court martial, which convicted and sentenced them to life imprisonment and death.
The soldiers team raised 11 grounds of appeal each in their separate appeals challenging the very many fundamental irregularities and improprieties characterizing the entire trial at the general court marshal and asked the court to stay the execution of their sentences pending the hearing and determination of their appeals.
The Judge, Justice Abubakar Abdulkadir ordered the army to stay from carrying out the execution of life imprisonment and death sentence imposed by the General Court Martial and ordered that the convicted soldiers be granted access to their lawyers.
The court also told the Nigeria Army to avail the convicted soldiers of the record of proceedings of the General Court Martial which tried and convicted them to enable them compile records for their appeal.
Meanwhile, the application for stay of execution filed by CPL Stephen Clement the third soldier, has not been heard as it was not listed on the court’s list on the day those of the other convicted soldiers were heard.