Wednesday, January 7, 2015

But was it mutiny?

Femi Falana, SAN
Femi Falana, attorney for convicted mutineers in Nigeria, has written an op-ed for The Guardian. His contention is that his clients' request for better weaponry to fight Boko Haram insurgents did not involve violence.
"The convict[ed] soldiers would have been guilty as charged if they had vamoosed or deserted the army when ordered to advance. They never said that they won't fight. But having regard to the casualties of July 9 due to the superior fire power of the terrorists they rightly demanded for support weapons. And when adequate weapons were made available on August 18, 2014 they fought with courage, commitment and loyalty to their country and routed out the insurgents. They deserved commendation and not condemnation. Having requested for weapons in exercise of their constitutional right the convicts did not commit the offence of mutiny or any offence whatsoever. In the circumstance[s], they ought to have their conviction and sentence quashed by the confirming authority."

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