This is the official blog of the Nigeria-based Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), a human rights organization which promotes, protects and projects the rights of Muslims. This group condemns terrorism and all acts of violence. Its motto is 'Dialogue, Not Violence'
Thursday, March 9, 2017
MURIC CALLS FOR PRESIDENTIAL PARDON FOR 54 SOLDIERS
MURIC CALLS FOR PRESIDENTIAL PARDON FOR
As five hundred
dismissed soldiers plead with the Nigerian Army to “tamper justice with mercy”,
the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) is reiterating its appeal for presidential
pardon for the 54 soldiers who are currently serving a ten-year jail sentence
for requesting for proper armament before advancing on Boko Haram insurgents.
They had earlier advanced with
their battalion on 9th July, 2014 under Lt. Col K. C. Uwa to
recapture Damboa but they were ambushed and they lost 23 men and four officers
due to inadequate equipment. Without fresh arms and without a single armoured
tank, they were again asked to advance on Damboa,Deluwa and Bullabilin.
This made them request for more
equipments from their commander, Lt. Col. Oporum. For daring to demand arms
before engaging a better equipped enemy, they were rounded up. Their death sentence
which was pronounced on 17th December, 2014 was commuted to ten
years imprisonment each by the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Major General Tukur
Yusuf Buratai in December 2015.
MURIC has since
been pleading with President Muhammadu Buhari to grant presidential pardon to
the 54 soldiers. We have issued six different press statements since their
predicament began (7th December, 2015, 21st December 2015,
5th January, 2016, 5th June 2016 , 21st
October, 2016 and 11th December 2016). This statement is the
The COAS has played his own part by commuting their death
sentence to imprisonment and we believe that it is now the turn of President Buhari
as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces to exercise the prerogative of
mercy by granting the 54 soldiers presidential pardon.
It hurts severely to be made to suffer for so long for
exposing large scale corruption in the army. We remind Mr. President that it
was this case which actually revealed the massive graft involving arms fund
meant for soldiers fighting Boko Haram. It is therefore paradoxical that the 54
soldiers are undergoing punishment for exposing corruption in the army.
Equally ironical is the fact that the 54 soldiers who
acted as whistle-blowers in the arms fund case are rotting in jail at a time
the Federal Government promised reward for whistle-blowers in corruption cases.
It is a sad twist of fate and it may serve as a source of deterrent for prospective
whistle-blowers if their case is not urgently revisited.
Mr. President sir, remember
that Allah will ask you how you conduct the affairs of citizens under your
care. He (Allah) said in the Glorious Qur’an, “We shall ask those to whom our
messages were delivered and We shall also ask those who were sent to deliver
them” (Qur’an 7:6).
appeals to all ex-heads of state, serving governors, the Minister of Internal
Affairs, the Chief Commissioner of the Public Complaints Commission, Mr. Emmanuel
Ogbole and civil society groups to show interest in the plight of the 54
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)