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Martial Court Sentences Nigerian Soldier To Death By Firing Squad For Killing Colleague

A martial court has sentenced Azunna Maduabuchi to death by firing squad.

The General Court Martial has sentenced a soldier, Azunna Mmaduabuchi, to death by firing squad for killing the adjutant of his unit, one Lieutenant Babakaka Ngorgi.

Martial Court Sentences Nigerian Soldier To Death By Firing Squad For Killing Colleague 1

Maduabuchi was sentenced on Tuesday for murder after shooting Lieutenant Ngorgi in July 2020 at close range in Bama Local Government of Borno State for refusing to grant him a welfare pass.

The trial that led to the conviction of the condemned soldier did not reveal if he had any personal grudges with the officer he killed.

But Premium Times quoted military sources saying 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 Maduabuchi pleaded with the late Lieutenant Ngorgi to allow him travel to the state capital to sort out his salary issues, but his requests were repeatedly denied.

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It was not certain if it was the issue that pitched the condemned soldier against the deceased officer, who was his Adjutant.

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 lay in a pool of his blood.

One of the witnesses said he saw the condemned 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 summarily opened fire on him.

“After opening a rapid action fire on him, the soldier turned to face me and then raised his hands to say ” I have killed him”, the PW said.

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The condemned soldier pleaded guilty but argued that his action was accidental. Acording to the court-martial, Maduabuchi failed to provide a convincing defence in his testimony.

“The accused person gave a conflicting narration of what happened,” the President of the Court Martial said while ruling on the case.

“In his written statement the soldier said his rifle 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, adding that 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.

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“He held his rifle at rapid-fire and emptied nine rounds of ammunition on the deceased officer, N/16439 who was the Adjutant of 202 battalions,” the Court-Martial President said

“The act of murder is a heinous crime against humanity; it offends the tenets of military regimentation and professionalism, You betrayed the truth and confidence reposed in you by the Nigerian army to show dignity and respect for human life.”

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.

“On this note, the sentence of this court-martial on you, 16NA/75/1343, Trooper Azunna Mmaduabuchi, for the offence of murder is to suffer death as provided in section 106 of the Armed Forces Act. And this sentence is to be carried out by firing squad.,” the President of the Court-Martial ruled.

Kanyi Daily News had earlier reported how the Nigerian Army arrested Mmaduabuchi for killing Lieutenant Ngorgi while he was on the phone with his wife whom he had married shortly before his death.

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