• Short Summary

    A FEDERAL NIGERIAN FRONT-LINE COMPANY COMMANDER WAS EXECUTED BY FIRING SQUAD YESTERDAY (TUESDAY) FOR OWNING DOWN AN UNARMED BIAFRAN PRISONER OF WAR LAST WEEK.

  • Description


    PREPARATIONS AND EXECUTION.




    Initials TS/VS/BHH/SGM



    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: A FEDERAL NIGERIAN FRONT-LINE COMPANY COMMANDER WAS EXECUTED BY FIRING SQUAD YESTERDAY (TUESDAY) FOR OWNING DOWN AN UNARMED BIAFRAN PRISONER OF WAR LAST WEEK. THE OFFICER, NOT NAMED BUT A LIEUTENANT AGED 23, HAD BEEN FOUND GUILTY BY A FIELD COURT MARTIAL OF "AN OFFENCE AGAINST THE NIGERIAN ARMY CODE OF CONDUCT....I.E. SHOOTING AN UNARMED REBEL SOLDIER."
    THE OFFICER WAS BLIND-FOLDED, TRUSSED TO A TREE IN FRONT OF A DESERTED MISSIONARY SCHOOL, AND SHOT DEAD BY A FOUR-MAN FIRING SQUAD. HIS COURT MARTIAL HAD BEEN PRESIDED OVER BY THE LOCAL FEDERAL COMMANDER, COLONEL BENJAMIN "BLACK SCORPION" ADEKUNLE, WHO PERSONALLY SIGNED THE DEATH SENTENCE. THE OFFICER WAS EXECUTED AT PORT HARCOURT.

    COL, ADEKUNLE, WHO IS COMMANDER OF ONE SECTOR OF THE MASSIVE PUSH AGAINST THE REMNANTS OF BIAFRAN TERRITORY, TOLD REPORTERS BEFORE THE EXECUTION THAT IF A SOLDIER SURRENDERED HE WAS NOT TO BE SHOT. EVERY FEDERAL SOLDIER, HE SAID, HAD BEEN ISSUED WITH THE CODE OF CONDUCT.

    THE CHIEF OF STAFF OF THE THIRD FEDERAL DIVISION, COL GODWIN ALY, SAID THAT AFTER SOME SPORADIC FIRING LAST TUESDAY AT OGWE, NEAR ABA, THE MAN WAS FOUND BY FEDERAL FORCES IN THE BUSH WEARING CIVILIAN CLOTHES. HE WAS UNARMED. THE MAN, HE SAID, CLAIMED TO BE A CIVILIAN, BUT WHEN ORDERED TO STAND TO ATTENTION BY THE COMPANY COMMANDER, HE DID SO "VERY SMARTLY".

    THE COMPANY COMMANDER, HE SAID THEN FIRED ABOUT 10 SHOTS FROM HIS CARBINE, KILLING THE PRISONER. COL. ALY SAID THAT HE COULD NOT UNDERSTAND THE YOUNG LIEUTENANT'S ACTION IN SHOOTING THE PRISONER IN FRONT OF TELEVISION CAMERAS. "HE MUST HAVE BEEN DRUNK, OR SOMETHING", HE SAID.

    THE LIEUTENANT SHOWED NO EMOTION AS HE WAS PREPARED FOR EXECUTION IN A FIELD OF DAISIES OUTSIDE THE MISSION SCHOOL. THE FIRING SQUAD WERE REPORTED TO SEEN MUCH NERVOUS, AND WHEN ONE OF THEM FALTERED, HE WAS WHIPPED BY THE COLONEL IN CHARGE.

    LATER IT WAS ANNOUNCED THAT AS THE INCIDENT HAPPENED IN A WAR ZONE, THE EXECUTED OFFICER WOULD BE LISTED IN THE RECORDS AS "KILLED IN ACTION". THE FIRING SQUAD HAD HAD ONLY ONE BULLET EACH, AND IT TOOK THE YOUNG OFFICER MORE THAN A MINUTE TO DIE.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVABYEJUAJ0UXLCI91FA2MJS4K4Y
    Media URN:
    VLVABYEJUAJ0UXLCI91FA2MJS4K4Y
    Group:
    Reuters - Including Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    04/09/1968
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:01:14:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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