Monday, December 8, 2014

Post-trial submission in Nigerian Army capital case

Femi Falana, SAN
Femi Falana, SAN, a Nigerian human rights attorney has made a post-trial submission to the Chief of Army Staff (as Confirming Authority) on behalf of the accused in the Nigerian Army capital mutiny cases. According to this report in The Premium Times:
“We wish to draw the attention of military authorities in Nigeria to the case of Oladele v. Nigerian Army . . . where the Court of Appeal emphasized the point that members of the armed forces, like other citizens, are entitled to all the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution including the fundamental rights of freedom of expression and freedom of assembly,” said Mr. Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria.
Mr. Falana, who filed the petition on behalf of the convicts, noted that the Section 149(1) of the Armed Forces Act (Cap A20) 2004, stipulates that “an accused may, within three months after being sentenced by a court-martial and before the sentence is confirmed, submit to the confirming authority any written matter which may reasonably tend to affect the confirming authority’s decision whether to disapprove a finding of guilt or to approve the sentence.”
“By this petition, we appeal to the Chief of Army Staff as the Confirming Authority to disapprove the finding of guilt and death sentence passed on the 12 convicted soldiers on the ground that the judgment of the General Court-Martial cannot be justified  as it is characterized by grave errors of law which  occasioned miscarriage of justice,” Mr. Falana said.
The full submission offers both legal arguments and matter in extenuation and mitigation.

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