December 5, 2022

The Court of Appeal in Abuja has discharged and acquitted Major Akeem Aderogba Oseni, who was earlier convicted of manslaughter over the death of a junior colleague.

The defendant council led by Mike Ozekhome, SAN, on Monday, said in a statement that Oseni had been sentenced to ten-year imprisonment in a judgement delivered on February 7, 2020.

In February 2017, Oseni and three other officers, including Major O. Osawu, Captain S Amosu, and Lieutenant Dogary, had in February 2017, been instructed to drill a soldier, Lance Corporal Benjamin Collins, who attempted jailbreak.

However, within few minutes of the drilling, Oseni counselled the soldier, and invited the co-admin, who also admonished the soldier and ordered his return to the earlier identified facility; and he immediately complied.

Oseni, during his routine checks as the field officer, was later informed that the deceased soldier had been struggling with his leg cuffs.

On seeing his condition, he summoned the officer in charge of the detention facility, and they both drove the soldier to Defence HQ Medical Centre, where he (Collins) was confirmed dead shortly after their arrival.

Source reports that Major Oseni was court-martialled by the military authorities along with Osawe, Amosu and Dogary, on a lone count of manslaughter in Charge No AHQGAR/GI/300/47 between Major A.A Oseni & 3 others v. Nigerian Army, dated August 9, 2018, in a General Court Martial, which sat at Command Officers’ Mess, Asokoro, Abuja.

Judgement was delivered on February 7, 2020, as Major Aderogba was sentenced to ten years imprisonment.

IsL source, Vanguard, confirmed the sentence on November 24, 2020 by the Army Council.

Capt Amosu,Aderogba’s co-accused was acquitted at the point of sentence on February 7, 2020.

The other two officers who were also jointly charged with him were discharged and acquitted during confirmation by the Army Council on November 24, 2020.

Dissatisfied with the judgment/findings and the confirmation of his sentence by the confirming authority, Major Oseni briefed Ozekhome on the matter.

By a notice of appeal dated January 28, 2021 and filed on October 11, 2021, by leave of the Court of Appeal granted on September 28, 2021, Ozekhome filed six grounds of appeal on behalf of Major Oseni.

Ozekhome argued the appeal on September 19, 2022, before the Court of Appeal, Abuja division, in a three-man panel presided over Justice Stephen Jonah Adah (presiding justice), Justice Mohammed Mustapha and Justice Bature Isa Gafai (as members); wherein judgment was reserved.

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