Army releases female soldier detained over romantic engagement to youth corps member

The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Faruk Yahaya, has ordered the immediate release of a detained female soldier, Hannah Sofiat.

Sofiat had earlier been detained for violating military rules and regulations by getting involved in a public display of an amorous relationship with a paramilitary trainee – a9 corps member.

She was detained after video clips where she was seen accepting a marriage proposal from a male corps member at the NYSC orientation camp in Kwara, which went viral on social media.

Her detention had however elicited reactions from Nigerians who believed she should not be denied the right to love.

Several groups and individuals have been urging the Nigerian Army authority to release the female soldier.

However, a reliable military source at Army Headquarters said on Saturday that the Chief of Army Staff had intervened and asked that she should be pardoned.

The source said the COAS took the decision in the spirit of Christmas.

He said Sofiat had been warned and reprimanded for breaching the extant rule guiding the conduct of military personnel; adding that the soldier had been forgiven and freed from detention to join her family and friends to celebrate Christmas.

According to the source, this is in line with the COAS vision to have a Professional Nigerian Army Ready to Accomplish Assigned Missions within a Joint Environment in Defence of Nigeria.

“The Chief of Army staff has intervened in the matter. He asked that she should be pardoned. The military authorities have considered the plea of the COAS and said she be released forthwith. Before the end of the day, she should have reunited with her family”, the source said.

When contacted, the Army Spokesperson, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, confirmed the development. He said, “What you are being told is correct.”

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