4th December, 2010
The Nigerian Army Council has granted pardon to the 27 soldiers who were court martialled and jailed over demonstrations on the allowances paid them in Akure, the capital of Ondo State in 2008.
The soldiers, who were serving in 15th Nigerian Battalion that served in United Nations Mission in Liberia had embarked on the protests after they discovered a shortfall in the allowances they are supposed to be paid for serving in the foreign mission.
Army Authority however alleged that the protests by the soldiers amounted to mutiny, arrested the 27 officers and arraigned them before a court martial.
The 27 soldiers were sentenced to life imprisonment, but their jail term was later reduced to seven years in 2009.
The Army Council at the end of its meeting today however announced that the imprisonment of the 27 officers has been converted to retirement.
It also said the the processing of the release of the 27 soldiers and payment of their allowances will commence immediately.
The Army Council is the body constitutionally empowered to take final decisions on major disciplinary cases, promotions and other career matters of army officers.
It is presided over by the Honourable Minister of Defence. The Council also announced some new promotions.
By Oluokun Ayorinde/Abuja