A British soldier who was held hostage by kidnappers in Nigeria has been fined £500 for returning late to a training base.
The revelation came to light during a hearing in a UK military court.
The British soldier was identified as Samuel Galloway of the 1st Battalion, Royal Regiment of Scotland. He was allegedly held for several hours with an AK-47 rifle pointing at him in Abuja. The British soldier was said to have been released after a ransom was paid, the Daily Mail reports.
The medium said the incident, which occurred in 2019, was apparently ‘covered-up’ at the time to prevent a major diplomatic incident.
As part of this alleged deceit, Sgt Galloway was fined for returning late to the British training camp. He was fined because senior officers dismissed his account of being held at gunpoint. He also claims that an officer from his regiment asked for witness statements to be falsified.
The debacle has now come to light because Sgt Galloway is appealing the £500 fine imposed on him.
Also, the British soldier wants his conviction for breaching a curfew at the base overturned.
A summary of the case involving the British soldier was heard for the first time earlier this month at Bulford Military Court, Wiltshire. At the end of the hearing, a military judge instructed that the case should proceed to trial in September.
The British soldier was on a training mission in Nigeria when the incident took place. He was off duty at the time and spent the evening of October 5, 2019; socialising with British colleagues in a local bar.
He claims that as he was leaving the bar, he became detached from his friends. Subsequently, he was allegedly grabbed by local men, one of whom was armed, who demanded money.
In an apparent bid to free Sgt Galloway, a man identified as Soldier B, who had been drinking in the same bar, then pulled out a pistol from beneath his clothing and fired a number of shots.
A lawyer for the Army told the judge that while Soldier B had been permitted to carry the weapon the shots had caused ‘chaos’ outside the venue.
However, Soldier B did not provide a witness statement at the time. But he will now be requested to ahead of Sgt Galloway’s trial.
Sgt Galloway claimed to have been held by the kidnappers about three hours before British colleagues paid a ransom to free him. Thereafter, he returned to his base, known as ‘Village 2’, at around 04.30. However, he was shocked when officers disputed his account; also, when a major from his regiment allegedly ordered junior troops to submit witness statements which purposely failed to mention Soldier B’s actions.
Sgt Galloway was then fined and, he claims, ordered by a major in his regiment to sign a confession. He accepted his punishment at the time but is now seeking to clear his name.