The soldiers who were earlier sentenced to death by court martials in 2014 had their sentence commuted to 10 years imprisonment when the Muhammadu Buhari administration came on board.
The 70 soldiers are currently held in custody at the Ikoyi and Kirikiri Prisons in Lagos State.
Falana, in his letter dated 19 December and addressed to President Buhari, urged him to release the soldiers from jail since the Arms Procurement Panel he set up confirmed the soldiers’ claim that they were poorly equipped to face the insurgents in the North-east.
“Our clients were charged with mutiny before courts-martial for demanding for weapons to fight the well-equipped insurgents in the north-east zone. In a bid to divert the attention of the public from the criminal diversion of the huge fund earmarked for procurement of arms and ammunition to fight the terrorists our clients were convicted and sentenced to death by the courts-martial which tried them in 2014.
“Since the demand of the convicted soldiers and others for weapons found justification in the criminal diversion of the huge fund provided for the purchase of arms and armament to fight the terrorists there was no legal and moral justification for the conviction and sentences imposed on them by the courts-martial.
“In Your Excellency’s interview aired by the BBC Hausa service on December 28, you rightly observed that the government at that time sent the soldiers to the battlefield without arms and ammunition to prosecute the war. That was what led some of them to mutiny. They were arrested and detained because of this.”