A female soldier who was dismissed from the Nigerian army for getting pregnant after she was raped by suspected bandits while travelling to Ogbomoso, Oyo State, has appealed her dismissal.
The lady was charged with one count of ‘conduct prejudicial to service discipline’ and dismissed from the regiment after being found guilty by the Army board of inquiry (BOI).
The soldier’s lawyer, Johnson Oyewole described the dismissal of his client as unlawful and also appealed to the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen Tukur Yusuf Buratai to upturn the decision. The appeal revealed that the victim was 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.
Barr. Oyewole 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 also revealed that his client lawfully applied for and obtained a pass to travel to Oyo State, sometime in October 2014 when the vehicle she boarded ran into bandits along Odo-Oba road and she was allegedly raped by five men. She was taken to Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, where she was treated for six days.
It was further learnt that the soldier obtained an extract from the Police Crime Diary, a Sworn Affidavit, as well as a Medical Report, which clearly indicated that she sustained “injury of right ankle joint with laceration and bruises around the thigh region.”
In December, she reported sick at the Military hospital and the matron confirmed that she was 12 weeks pregnant.
Vanguard reported that one of the major planks for the decision to dismiss the female soldier was the time difference between the time the incident of armed bandits attack occurred and the time she went to the military hospital and was confirmed pregnant.