Some communities in Nigeria’s north-east are yet to be re-captured from the insurgents because the military wants to reduce civilian casualties during the operations, a military official has said.
A spokesman for the Nigerian Army, Brigadier General Olajide Laleye, told journalists in Abuja on Wednesday that the army was carefully planning strategies to adopt in other to reclaim the territories from the terrorists.
At the press conference, Mr Olaleye also attributed the successes the Nigerian Army had recorded in the on-going counter terrorism operations in the north-east to strict enforcement of service regulations.
He said that the regulations had resulted in the court martialing of over 200 soldiers in the last three months alone.
Some of the soldiers have been sentence to death for different offences.
In the last court martial that was held about a week ago in Abuja, the court delivered its verdict in the case of conspiracy to commit mutiny and incitement of mutiny involving five soldiers.
LCPL Sule Ochehepo was discharged and acquitted, while LCPL Bankole Taiwo, LCPL Bankole Olawale, LCPL Isaiah Olofu and PTE Adebayo Gbenga were convicted and sentenced to death.
The allegation against the soldiers was that they asked “inciting questions” from their Commanding Officer of 81 Battalion when he addressed them on September 14, 2013.
The questions pertained to the corpses of some of their colleagues brought to the camp after they were killed by members of a terrorist group, Boko Haram, due to lack of weapons.
Meanwhile, a rights group, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has asked a group of five United Nations human rights independent experts to individually and jointly request that the mass death sentences imposed on 54 Nigerian soldiers found guilty of mutiny should not be carried out.
The Executive Director of SERAP, Adetokunbo Mumuni, in a petition to the rights group, said it was not right or fair to try everyone in mass proceedings, and that such unfair trial should not send someone to the gallows.
He asked the group to make the request to the Nigerian government and the military.
Mr Mumuni emphasised that imposition of mass death sentences was in breach of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Nigeria was a party.
“This Covenant limits the circumstances in which a state can impose the death sentence,” he said.