Female soldier raped, impregnated by bandits appeals dismissal

Tukur Buratai

A soldier who claims to have been dismissed from the Nigerian Army after getting pregnant following a rape incident has appealed her dismissal.

Her lawyer Johnson Oyewole appealed to the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai to upturn the decision of a board of inquiry, saying she was raped after her vehicle was attacked while on transit from Lagos to Oyo State.

An army board of inquiry (BOI) had investigated the soldier after the incident and recommended her trial where she was found culpable of the “offence of conduct prejudicial to service discipline”. She was thereafter dismissed from service.

In his appeal, Mr Johnson said: “It is manifest that the purported trial of our client was tainted with substantial irregularities; there is no offence under the law and no element of the offence of misconduct prejudicial to service discipline that talks of pregnancy while in service and warranted dismissal under section 103 (1).”

He explained his client enlisted in the army in March 2012 as a member of 67 regular recruits intake, and was serving with 56 signal command, Mile 2, Lagos, before the incident.

Johnson said his client had lawfully applied for and obtained a pass to travel to Oyo in October 2014 when she was allegedly raped by five men.

He further said the soldier was treated at Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso for six days.

The lawyer said following the assault, his client obtained an extract from the police crime diary, a sworn affidavit, and a medical report, which showed that she sustained “injury of right ankle joint with laceration and bruises around the thigh region”.

He added that she later fell sick in December 2019 and when she reported at the military hospital, she was confirmed to be 12 weeks pregnant.