Army Court-martial sentences soldier to 5 years for raping IDP

From Melvin Uche, Maiduguri

The General Court Martial of the 7 Division, Nigerian Army sitting in Maiduguri has on Wednesday sentenced one corporal AliyuYakubu to five years imprisonment for raping a 13 year old girl in Bama local government area of Borno state who is an Internally Displaced Person ( IDP ).

The Court has equally dismissed corporal Yakubu from service for assaulting the minor before defiling her.

In his ruling, President of the Court ,Brigadier General ArikpoEkubi said the soldier, corporal AliyuYakubu who was serving under 202 Tank Battalion Bama was found guilty of two count-charges of defilement and assault contrary to sections 78 and 104 sub section 2A of the armed forces act, 2004.

Brigadier General Ekubi pointed out that the accused has betrayed the trust and confidence reposed on him by the Nigerian Army and failed to protect the right of the vulnerable in the society.

He said: “The gravity of the offence you have committed against the innocent young girl which by implication is a crime against society, which equally represents an attempt to drag the good name of the Nigerian Army in the mud must be sanctioned appropriately.

“Thus, this General Court Martial thereby sentences you as follows: Count 1: five years imprisonment, Count 2 dismissal from service”.

The president of the Court Martial however said the sentences is subject to confirmation by superior authority as provided by sections 151 sub section 1b and 152 sub section 1b of the armed forces act.

The Judge Advocate Captain Aminu Mai Ruwa in his presentation said the incident occurred on 1st July, 2018 when the accused forcefully dragged Fatima to an uncompleted building in Bama, smashed her head on the wall and had carnal knowledge of her.

He explained that corporal AliyuYakubu was arraigned before the Court on the 13th July, 2020 and medical report confirmed the presence of semen in her private part, as well as bruises resulting from the assault on her.

Defence Counsel BabaganaZanna said they will study the judgment and take a final position.

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