In the spirit of the Armed Forces Remembrance Day, Governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole has appealed to Head of States, President Muhammadu Buhari to grant Presidential pardon to the sixty-six soldiers whose death sentences were recently commuted to 10 years imprisonment.
The Governor made this appeal while delivering his speech at the 2016 Armed Forces Remembrance Day on in Benin City yesterday, he said:
“I ask Edo people to stand by our Armed Forces, to support the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari to reposition the Armed Forces, to re-kit them but also to revive our economy.
The revelation about diversion of funds meant to equip the Armed Forces is not funny and therefore we must all give the President the support he needs to bring to justice those who diverted money meant to secure all of us and convert them to political funds.
“These same people sat in the comfort of their office, looking at their loot and they had the guts to put on trial soldiers who were
ill-equipped and were asked to go and commit suicide in the face of Boko Haram.
I am happy that the Military have in their wisdom through their own judicial process committed those death sentences to various terms of imprisonment for those soldiers who were involved.
“I am not an apostle or a supporter of indiscipline but I believe it is also a matter of hypocrisy to tie the legs of a young man or a woman and ask him to go and get involved in an Olympic race. If you chain him, how can he run?”
The Governor continued:
“I therefore want to lend my voice on behalf of the people of Edo State, that those soldiers at best can be dismissed from the Armed Forces, but they should not be allowed to wallow in prison. The point has been made that money meant for them was shared.
If those who shared it are not likely to face death sentence, they even enjoy the liberty of bail from our high court, nothing justifies harsh treatment to the victims of their own executive rascality.
“So, I appeal to President Buhari to use his powers to grant them pardon even if they will not be allowed to retain their uniforms. We all have learnt to be vigilant and to support our Armed Forces.”