A female soldier, who was dismissed from the Nigerian army for getting pregnant, has appealed her dismissal.
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.
But Johnson Oyewole, her lawyer, described her dismissal as “unlawful” and appealed to Tukur Buratai, chief of army staff, to upturn the decision
“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),” Johnson said.
In the appeal, Oyewole 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.
He said his client had 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 was allegedly raped by five men.
The soldier was taken to Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso, where she was reportedly treated 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.
There are insinuations that one of the reasons for her dismissal was the time difference between the period of her attack by the bandits and when she was confirmed pregnant.
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