An appeal Court seating in Abuja has stopped the execution of the death sentence that was passed on two of the twelve Nigerian soldiers who were convicted last year by a Military Court Martial over their alleged complicity in acts of mutiny.
Justice Abubakar Abdulkadir-led appeal panel had made the order on Monday but a copy of the enrolled order was only released to journalists in Abuja on Thursday.
The soldiers were on September 15, 2014, condemned to death by the General Court Marshal which sat at the Army Headquarters Garrison, Mogadishu Cantonment in Abuja.
They were charged with offences that ranged from disobedience to particular order, insubordination, false accusation, criminal behavior, conspiracy to commit mutiny and mutiny under the Armed Forces Act 2004.
Three of the convicted soldiers, CPL Stephen Clement, CPL Igomu Emmanuel and PTE Andrew Ngbede, however went before the appellate court through their lawyer, Chief Godwin Obla, SAN, to challenge the decision of the Court Marshal which convicted and sentenced them to life imprisonment and death.
The convicted soldiers, in their separate suits, raised eleven grounds of appeal.
The court ruling Monday ordered the Nigerian Army to stay execution of the sentence with regard Lance Corporal Igonmu Emmanuel and Private Andrew Ngbede pending the hearing and determination of their appeal against the death penalty passed on them by the GCM.
The appellate court also ordered the Nigerian Army to avail them, and their lawyers, copies of the record of proceedings of the General Court Martial.
One of the convicted soldiers, Lance Corporal Stephen Clement, had also filed a separate application for stay of execution of the GCM’s sentence but had yet to be heard by the Court of Appeal.
Other convicts had also filed their appeals and applications for stay of execution of the sentence.
The rest of the convicts include Corporals David Musa, David Robert, Jasper Baidolor, and Mohammed Sani.
They also include Lance Corporals Friday Onuh and Yusuf Shuaibu.
Others are Privates Nurudeen Ahmed, Ifeanyi Anukabe, Alao Samuel, Allan Linus, Namaan Samuel, Ichocho Jeremiah, Sebastine Amah and Amadi Chukwudi.