LUCK smiled on 3,032 soldiers yesterday. There were resinstated to their jobs after being convicted by military courts for various offences.
In all, 5,000 were convicted, but only the 3,032 were lucky.
The reinstatement followed a recommendation by a military screening committee set up to review cases against the soldiers.
The officers and men were handed varying terms of imprisonment or outright dismissal for offences ranging from Absence Without Official Leave (AWOL), insubordination, indiscipline and theft among others.
Army Public Relations Acting Director Col. Sani Usman, who broke the news at a briefing in Abuja, said some of the convicted soldiers had their sentences upheld by the committee.
Col. Usman added that in some cases, the screening committee even made an upward review of years of imprisonment given to some of the convicted soldiers by the military courts.
The Army spokesman, however, said the cases of 66 soldiers who bagged the death sentence were not reviewed by the committee since their lawyers had appealed the verdict and the process was on.
Col. Usman expressed the commitment of the military to quashing the Boko Haram insurgency by December – in line with the directive given the military and other security agencies by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“It is in that regard that we are working round the clock to meet up with the deadline in total synergy and cooperation with other services and security agencies,” he said, adding:
“It is also in keeping faith with the public that we are working with a renewed resolve to always keep Nigerians updated of our operations as well as other activities of the Nigerian Army.
“We would like to reassure the President and indeed the good people of our great nation that we would definitely meet up with the three-month deadline and do the nation proud.”
Col. Usman acknowledged instances of misconduct and brutalisation of unarmed members of the public in various parts of the country by some “misguided” soldiers.
He said: “I want to state here that we are striving hard to improve our relationship with the public and we would not tolerate any act of indiscipline or misconduct form our troops.
“Therefore, I want to assure the public that in line with our procedures, we are taking appropriate measures to prevent such happenings and to sanction all those involved.”