The Nigerian Army yesterday [Oct. 18] court martialed and sentenced a staff sergeant to two years imprisonment for brutalising a 10-year-old child. The staff sergeant, Umar Sule, was charged for brutalising, Mohammed Saleh,10, at Simari Ward, London Chiki area of Maiduguri, Borno State.
The convicted soldier was accused of tying the minor to a pole and beat him severally for about seven hours after he caught him stealing his N2,000. The boy was said to sustain injuries which led to one of his arms being amputated as a result of the brutality.
Allegations were brought against the soldier by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) which led to his court martial and subsequent conviction and de-promotion to the rank of a private.
Delivering judgment, the President of the court set up by the Nigerian army at the 7 Division Maiduguri, Brigadier General Olusegun Adeniyi, said the court arrived at the decision having found the accused, staff sergeant Umar Sule, guilty of the offence, and having listened to the prosecutor urging the court to treat him as first offender, the lead defence counsel plea that the convict served the Nigerian army for 26 years and enlisted in the service in 1999 as well as served in various conflict missions home and abroad.
The court president said he was sentenced based on the Nigerian army rules and laws of 1972 and 1974 respectively on two-count charges subject to confirmation by the confirming authority of the Nigerian army as required by the law.