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Why Buhari Must Pardon 54 Jailed Soldiers Who Expose DasukiGate – MURIC


Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to release the 54 soldiers serving a jail term for asking for better weapons to fight Boko Haram insurgency.

It posited that immediately Col. Sambo Dasuki was released, the 54 soldiers presently serving ten years imprisonment each ought to be released too.

MURIC Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, on Thursday, argued that the probe into the $2.1 million was brought to the fore when the 54 soldiers cried for lack of weapon to fight Boko haram.

Therefore, while commending Buhari for releasing Dasuki and Sowore, Akintola urged Buhari to extend similar gesture to the 54 soldiers serving a jail term for asking for better weapons to fight Boko Haram insurgency.

An officer (R) speaks to soldiers accused of mutiny tasked with fighting Boko Haram militants in Abuja on October 2, 2014. Nearly 100 soldiers tasked with fighting Boko Haram militants in Nigeria’s far northeast appeared at a military court-martial on Thursday, facing a range of charges including mutiny. The hearing comes just weeks after a tribunal sentenced 12 soldiers to death following their conviction for shooting at their commanding officer in the Borno state capital, Maiduguri, in May. AFP PHOTO/STRINGER

In a statement, Akintola said: “We express our profound gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari for releasing Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd) and Omoyele Sowore. It shows that our president is listening.

”If it is true that Dasuki was detained over the $2.1m arms fraud case (and it is), what becomes of the poor soldiers who exposed the fraud but who, paradoxically, are still languishing in jail?

“Nigerians became aware of the poor weaponry among federal troops fighting Boko Haram when the 54 soldiers demanded better arms.

”They are therefore heroes, not villains and should not be languishing in jail.

”It was their protest which led to questions regarding the $2.1m meant for the purchase of sophisticated weapons but which was diverted to fund political campaign.

“President Buhari exhibited magnanimity by releasing Dasuki and Sowore.

Cross-section of the 54 soldiers sentenced to life imprisonment

”It is true that those two men have people, including the media, crying out day and night for their release, unlike the 54 soldiers who have nobody to agitate for them.

“We beg the president to show mercy to these young men. ‘The quality of mercy is not strained. It dropped as the gentle rain from heaven Upon the place beneath.”

Akintola added that if Dasuki and Sowore release were Christmas gifts to Nigerians, the release of the 54 soldiers should be as New Year hampers.

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