Give Jailed Soldiers Total Amnesty, Buhari Urged
Senator Anthony Adefuye has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to give total amnesty to Nigerian soldiers who were recently let of the death row with 10-year jail term.
The former lawmaker who addressed journalists yesterday in Lagos, lauded the president’s courage for reviewing the sentences of “these unfortunate soldiers,” adding that: “If not for your coming they would have been executed.
I want to appeal that these soldiers be given total amnesty.”
Adefuye, who disclosed that many of the soldiers and their families called on him to help plead with the federal government for reprieve, stated that many of them gave him reasons why they should be forgiven.
“When I asked them why I should plead on their behalf for amnesty, they said: ‘the world or Nigerians do not know what is really on ground because we did not mutiny, we only ask for equipment, we did not fire anybody, we and did not threaten anybody.
‘After we lost 23 soldiers and three officers on July 9 2014, we now requested for equipment to carry out the attack on August 4, they now said we mutinyWe did not mutiny. I think we need to let Nigerians know the truth. The 54 other soldiers are different from the 12 sir, so we should not go to jail for just demanding to be equipped by our commander. This is wickedness sir.’”
The senator added that the soldiers also informed him that: “For about eight months army has not fed us, we have been feeding with our money. The best the army could do sir is to give us 10 years jail terms. Even those who ran away and lost army property are being called back to the army. We have not committed any offence. I think Nigerians need to hear our own side sir.”
Adefuye stated that after x-raying the soldiers’ plight, “I am therefore using this yuletide season to plead for leniency for these soldiers who were sacrificed on the altar of corruption by those who diverted $2.1 billion fund meant for purchase of military equipment to execute the war against terror.
“I want to heartily thank the president for exposing the culprits and letting Nigerians know the truth as well as saving the lives of these soldiers, but for you, it would have been all over.
“I now plead that these soldiers be given full amnesty, and be allowed to go home and spend time with their families.”