Lance Corporal John Godwin has been sentenced to death over the murder of five civilians at Yamteke community of Gwoza Local Government Area of Borno.
The President of the Nigerian Army Court Marshal on Friday passed this judgement on Friday citing a breach of the Section 106 (a) of the Armed Forces Act (Cap A-20), Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN), 2004.
President of the court, Brig.-Gen. Gbemiga Adesina, said the prosecution had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt that the soldier committed the offence and is guilty as charged.
He added that the court in its judgment took into consideration the presentations and submissions of the prosecution to treat Godwin as first time offender.
He explained that the court found the accused person guilty as charged and sentenced him to death, adding that the ruling was, however, subject to ratification by appropriate authorities.
The Lead Prosecution Counsel, Lt. Col. NO Nyaro, had earlier told the court that troops of the 122 Task Force Battalion on Nov. 13, 2015, rescued 22 civilians at Yamtake village in Gwoza.
He explained that the rescued civilians included five males, nine females, five boys and three girls.
The convict was said to have fired three shots at each of the rescued men and killed them while they were undergoing investigations by the military personnel in the area.
The Court Martial also convicted and sentenced one other soldier, Sgt. Innocent Ototo, to life in prison after conviction for manslaughter.
Ototo was convicted for torture, which resulted to the death of a 13-year-old boy, Master Yakubu Isa, at Zabarmari village of Maiduguri Local Government Area.
The prosecution told the court that the convict had on May 15, 2015, beat up and rubbed pepper on the body of the minor, whom he accused of stealing his cell phone, arguing that the boy died while in detention at the military guard post in the area.
Corporal Benjamin Osaji, an accomplice in the torture and murder of the minor was also sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Private Sunday Onwe was also sentenced to 20 years jail term for illegal possession of firearms and ammunition while two other soldiers, Ayuba Jonathan and Bitrus Yunana were also sentenced to five year imprisonment each for the same offense.
Adesina admonished troops to adhere strictly to the ROE and Human Right Laws in the ongoing counter-insurgency campaign in the northeast.
Compliments of the season from the Nigerian police: