The Nigerian Army has dismissed a female soldier for getting pregnant after she was raped by five suspected bandits while travelling to Ogbomoso, Oyo State.
Punch reports that the rape victim was charged with one count of ‘conduct prejudicial to service discipline,’ found guilty and dismissed from the army.
She, however, declined to speak on her ordeal when contacted on the phone on Wednesday, saying, “I have not asked you to publish anything, but we are working on the appeal.”
Her lawyer, Johnson Oyewole, expressed the conviction that his client’s unlawful dismissal would be overturned and she would be recalled to continue serving her fatherland.
According to an appeal to the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, filed by her lawyer, the victim 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.
The letter, which challenged the soldier’s dismissal, read, ”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).”
It explained that the soldier 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.
Following the sexual assault, she obtained an extract from the police crime diary, a sworn affidavit, as well as a medical report, which indicated that she sustained “injury of right ankle joint with laceration and bruises around the thigh region.”
On falling sick and feeling some unease over her health in December 2019, the female soldier reported sick at the Military hospital and after checks, she was confirmed to be 12 weeks pregnant.
It was gathered 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.