Lawyers for Brigadier-General EA Ransome–Kuti, who last week was convicted by a military court, appealed to the Chief of Army Staff to authorize and direct his release from custody in order to file and prepare for his appeal against the verdict.
While the first charge of "cowardly behavior" against him was struck out, he was found guilty on the second charge of "failure to perform military duties". On a third charge, “miscellaneous offences relating to service property," he was sentenced to six months of imprisonment. On October 15, the Special Court Martial sentenced Brig-General Ransome-Kuti to a dismissal from military service and six months of imprisonment.
In a letter to the Chief of Army Staff, his lawyers, Femi, Falana, & Chambers, pointed out that the Special Court Martial’s guilty judgment was a reversal of their earlier judgement that, given the circumstances, Brig-General Ransome-Kuti made the right decision when he withdrew his troops from Baga.
The lawyers stated that their appeal for release is most desirable because Brig-General Ransome-Kuti had already spent more than 10 months imprisonment in custody.
“It is pertinent to state that the maximum penalty for the miscellaneous offences relating to property is two years imprisonment which is 16 months under the Prisons Act,” they said. “The implication is that if our client is further kept in custody, he would be serving more than the mandatory period prescribed in the Armed Forces Act which will cause him unnecessary hardship.”
The lawyers impressed upon the Chief of Army Staff their client’s genuine intention to appeal the judgement, as well as the fact that the grounds of their client’s appeal was anchored on sound and arguable points of the law and the Constitution of the Federal Republic.