Lagos lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to review the cases of officers and soldiers convicted by military tribunals in relation to the fight against Boko Haram.
In a statement issued in Lagos yesterday, Falana said this has become necessary since the immediate past Chief of Defence Staff, Air Marshal Alex Barde, has admitted that the armed forces led by him lacked the equipment to prosecute the war on terror.
The learned silk remarked that it was gratifying to note that the Buhari administration and the Chief of Army Staff have decided to reinstate 3,032 among the dismissed soldiers.
“We urge the Federal Government to extend the commendable gesture to several officers and soldiers who are currently standing trial.
“The trial should be terminated while the courts-martial are dissolved forthwith. In the same vein, the cases of those who have been convicted ought to be reviewed with a view to pardoning them in the interest of justice and fair play”, he said.
He recalled that the immediate past military authorities put several soldiers on trial for demanding for equipment to fight the war on terror and that 70 of the soldiers were convicted and sentenced to death while scores were jailed by courts – martial.
He argued that since the demand of the soldiers was legitimate, the military hierarchy could not justify the spurious sentences.
He argued that it was to avoid further embarrassment that thousands of other soldiers who were indicted for the same “offence” were summarily dismissed from the army.
He remarked that it was because they were convinced of the illegality of the treatment meted out to the soldiers that they approached the Federal High Court and the National Industrial Court for redress.