The Nigerian Army 7 Division General Court Martial, in Maiduguri has sentenced to death by firing squad, one private Azunna Mmaduabuchi
Private Maduabuchi had in July 2020, reportedly opened fire on one Lieutenant Babankaka Ngorgi, killing him instantly.
The trial that led to the conviction of the condemned, did not reveal if the soldier had any personal grudges with the officer he killed.
The soldier pleaded guilty, but argued that his action was accidental.
But sources inside the military said that the condemned soldier, had once gone on AWOL which led to the stoppage of his salary for about six months.
The source said that the soldier, who was serving at the 202-battalion in Bama, pleaded with the late Lieutenant Ngorgi, who was his Adjutant, to allow him to travel to the state capital, to sort out his salary issues, but his requests were repeatedly denied.
It was not certain if it was the issue that pitched the condemned soldier against the deceased officer.
Eight prosecution witnesses told the court-martial headed by Arikpo Ekubi, as president of the court, that they saw the condemned soldier at the scene of the crime still holding the AK47 rifle, while the late Adjutant laid in a pool of his blood.
One of the Prosecuting Witnesses said that he saw the private soldier, match past him, without complimenting him as his senior, as he walked up to the deceased adjutant who was at that time making a call and opened fire on him
Emptying nine rounds of ammunition on the deceased officer, N/16439, who was the Adjutant of 202 battalions.
After opening fire on him, the soldier turned and then raised his hands to say “I have killed him” the Witness said
But the accused person gave a conflicting narration of what happened, the President of the Court Martial said while ruling on the matter
In his written statement the soldier said that his rifle accidentally went off while he was passing by the deceased officer. And while asked in court to demonstrate how he was carrying his rifle, he told the court that the rifle went off while he was fetching water to drink.
The court contended that rifles only respond to what it is asked to do.
The court-martial said Mr. Mmaduabuchi deliberately killed the officer because he ran straight to the Adjutant after returning from a patrol and opened fire on him at close range.
Barring all pleas for leniency by the defence counsel, the court-martial insisted that the act of murder has a mandatory punishment as clearly stipulated in Section 106 of the Armed Forces Act.
The Court has also convicted private Mohammed Kuru, serving at 212 Battalion to three years imprisonment for manslaughter.
Mohammed was convicted for recklessness and accidental discharge, that killed 12-year-old Adamu Musa, at a wedding ceremony in the London Ciki area of Maiduguri metropolis, Sergeant Sani Ishaya, and 3 others were also convicted of manslaughter, where the court handed over a sentence from one to four years imprisonment.
However All the convictions are subject to confirmation by a Superior Authority.