Video of a former Nigerian soldier who was sentenced to death for asking question after 17 years of service has surfaced online.
Narrating how he was sentenced to death in 8-minutes footage released by PunchNG on Youtube, the former Nigerian soldier identified as Dele Olawale disclosed that he was enlisted into the army in January 2003, was later posted to 82 Demonstration Battalion, Kaduna Jaji after training and alongside others participated in different military operations.
The ex-soldier, Olawale while recounting how the whole scenario began on 12th September, 2013 said they (soldiers) were called by their commander that they should prepare for military operation because they want to go and fight at a place called Kafia forest.
Ex-soldier, Dele Olawale
Olawale stated that they were briefed that the people they are planning to fight have been in the place since 2003 and have become a strong force in the area. The commander told us that an Alpha jet will firstly soften the ground for us before we launch our attack in mobbing the rest.
Olawale added they (soldiers) were so confident that the end of Boko Haram terrorists is near and they were so happy about it.
We took our leave but at a point we could not see the Alpha jet again yet our commander said we still have to go unknowingly that they (insurgents) have laid ambush on us which led to serious battle but God saved my life. We lost 38 soldiers on that day, Olawale stressed.
According to Olawale, the commander addressed the soldiers the following day and ordered that they (soldiers) should go and prepare to recover the bodies of fallen soldiers which prompted him to asked a question.
You told us pointblantly that the people (insurgents) are of strong force and we (soldiers) can not go there without the Alpha Jet softening the ground for us, Olawale queried.
The commander told Olawale and other soldiers that it was not his fault and the problem he had was the Air Force because they failed him.
Owing to lack of trust and soldiers’ belief that the statement uttered by the commander was a lie, the soldiers from the rear started murmuring, later began shooting into the air to protest the statement which forced the man to leave.
Olawale further revealed that he was redeployed to Magunmeri Local Government in Borno state where I met some military police who told me to follow them because my attention is needed.
Photo: Ex-soldier, Dele Olawale and his colleagues who were sentenced to death
The military police requested me to write a statement on what I knew about the incident that happened on the parade ground on that particular day. I narrated the incident, went back to my location and later redeployed to another area called Damasak, a rather sad Nigerian soldier said.
‘Following month, I was called and told that the question I asked from my commander was a mutinous question and I was charged for mutiny. They started transporting me from one detention to another for a year.
On a fateful day in Abuja, popular lawyer and activist, Femi Falana came and requested to see soldiers that were charged for mutiny. He listed to our stories and stood in for us as our legal practitioner. The court marshal started and we were sentenced to death. We were moved from Abuja to military intelligence underground in Lagos. We were there for a year and denied the chances to see our families before they took us to prison, Olawale narrated.
Photo: Ex-soldier, Dele Olawale and his four kids
According to Olawale, Femi Falana appealed the death verdict and pushed the case with a lot of energies and strong determination. I was writing 200 level of National Open University (NOUN) examination inside the prison when I was called and Femi Falana told us that we (the four of us) have been discharged and acquitted. The prison officials told us that we have been discharged.
The wife of the ex-soldier who is also a mother of four narrated the ugly and worry side of life they went through following the ordeal of their breadwinner.
Wife of the Ex-soldier, Grace Olawale
She disclosed that she had the pregnancy of her lastborn during the trial and the whole family went through hell.
Appealing to the Nigerian Army to pay her husband’s entitlements, the mother of four who was in tears said things have become worse for the family and survival is very hard.
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