- The Nigerian Army has been asked to immediately release a female soldier, Private Sofiyat Akinlabi
- Private Akinlabi was detained by Nigerian Army authorities after a youth corps member proposed to her publicly
- Funmi Falana, chairperson of the Women Empowerment & Legal Aid said Private Sofiat did not commit any offence
Lagos - The Women Empowerment & Legal Aid, on Monday, December 20 asked the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Farouk Yahaya, to respect the decision of a female soldier, Private Sofiyat Akinlabi, to marry a male National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) member.
Chairperson of the group, Funmi Falana, in a letter to Yahaya, demanded the immediate release of the soldier who had since been detained by the military authorities after accepting the marriage proposal of an unnamed corps member at the NYSC orientation camp in Yikpata, Kwara state.
What we will do to detained female soldier who accepted corps member's proposal - Nigerian Army reveals
The Punch newspaper reports that the letter titled, ‘Request for the Release of Private Sofiyat Akinlabi,’ Falana said the female soldier:
“has not contravened the regulation on the restriction of marriage for three years.”
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The letter further read:
“The restriction of a female military personnel from contracting any marriage for three years upon enlistment which is not applicable to male military personnel is illegal and unconstitutional.”
Falana also argued that no male soldier has been punished for proposing to a love interest in public has seen on social media.
“Furthermore, her decision to marry the male youth corps member should be respected as both of them are entitled to freedom of association guaranteed by Section 40 of the Constitution.”
Nigerian Army confirms detention of Private Sofiyat Akinlabi
The Nigerian Army had earlier confirmed the detention of the female soldier through its spokesman, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu.
Indulging in romance while in uniform: Nigerian Army detains female soldier who accepted corps member’s proposal
Nwachukwu said Private Akinlabi violated military laws by getting involved in a public display of an amorous relationship with a paramilitary trainee.
The Army spokesman, however, did not reveal what may be the punishment of the detained female soldier.
How the proposal to Private Akinlabi went viral
Recall that video clips showing the male corps member proposing to Private Akinlabi had gone viral on social media, drawing reactions from many Nigerians.
The female soldier gushed over being engaged by the corps member that she let her guard down in expressing her emotions.
She planted a kiss on the lips of her stunned boyfriend and flaunted her engagement ring amid cheers from corps members.