A Special Court Martial sitting in Maiduguri, Borno State, on Wednesday sentenced a soldier, Cpl. Aliyu Yakubu, to five years imprisonment for defiling a 13-year-old girl in the state.
The President of the court, Brig. Gen. Arikpo Ekubi, who delivered the judgment, also ordered the dismissal of the soldier from service for the offence.
The court, which held its sitting at 7 Division, Maimalari Cantonment in Maiduguri, sentenced the convict after listening to five witnesses on the two- count charge of defilement and assault.
Ekubi said: “This honourable court finds you, Cpl. Aliyu Yakubu guilty of the offences of defilement and assault contrary to sections 78 and 104 subsection 2a of the Armed Forces Act respectively.
“The offence offends the tenet of military regimentation and profession which are synonymous with discipline and law-abiding personnel.
“You betrayed the trust and confidence reposed in you by the Nigerian Army to ensure dignity and respect to the citizens you are employed to protect.
“Your action is an affront to the present leadership of the Nigerian Army which thrives on respect for human right and professional responsiveness in the discharge of its constitutional role.
“You failed to protect the rights of the vulnerable. This amounts to taking us back to the ages of darkness and barbarism at a time the Nigerian Army is sparing no effort at safeguarding the lives of women and children in line with global best practices.
“This court takes it upon itself to ensure that your action which goes contrary to current best practice is punished accordingly.”
The court’s president sentenced the convict to five years imprisonment for defilement and dismissal for assault.
The convict’s counsel, Babagana Zanna, pleaded for leniency for his client.
However, the sentences are subject to confirmation by the army authorities.
The convict, who had served the military for 11 years, defiled the teenager in an uncompleted building in Bama town in July 2018.