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Page last updated at 09:12 GMT, Tuesday, 28 April 2009 10:12 UK

Nigerian soldiers jailed for life

Nigerian Military [File photo]
The Nigerian military has been peacekeeping in Liberia since 1990

A group of Nigerian troops who held a protest over pay have been sentenced to life in jail for mutiny.

The 28 soldiers, including four women, took to the streets in south-western Ondo state in July 2008 waving leafy branches and singing songs.

They claimed they were owed as much as $25,000 (£17,200) each by the army.

But the court martial in Lagos said the protest breached military discipline. One of the soldiers, who were UN peacekeepers in Liberia, was cleared.

In January the same court convicted five officers of stealing $68,000 (£46,800) that was meant for Nigerian peacekeepers in Liberia.

'Dehumanising'

Peter Adonu, of the soldiers' legal team, said they would appeal against the verdict.

The protest was a pay dispute, not a mutiny and never posed a threat to state security, he said.

Mr Adonu added his clients had been held in "dehumanising conditions" and were denied medical care.

Nigerian troops have been part of the peacekeeping forces in Liberia since 1990 when they were brought in by the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) to stop a civil war there.



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