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An officer of the Nigerian Air Force, Flight Lieutenant Martins Ewerem, was yesterday dismissed from service for raping and assaulting a 14-year-old girl, an Internally Displaced Person (IDP).
The victim said to be living in the Bakassi IDP camp in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, was reported to have gone to fetch firewood in a nearby bush in September last year when Ewerem spotted her and accused her and her friends of trespassing a restricted area. He allegedly dragged her to the bush and defiled her. Delivering a judgment at the Officers’ Mess of the Maimalari Cantonment, the President of the Court, Major General Yakubu Aura, said the court found Ewerem guilty of some of the charges brought against him.
The accused was dismissed for being found guilty of the first count charge, but acquitted of the second while he was found guilty of the third count. He was sentenced to dismissal on the first count of raping the teenager on September 29, 2018, during his patrol duty around Dalwa area of Molai on the outskirts of Maiduguri metropolitan council.
The President of the Court explained that the accused was discharged and acquitted for assaulting the minor, which was the second charge. On the third count, Ewerem was sentenced to reduction in rank from Flight Lieutenant to Flight Officer, and loss of seniority for six years in both the present and future rank.
This translates to three years as Flight Lieutenant and three years as Flight Officer. Major General Auta noted that the judgment of the court was subject to the final decision of the highest Nigerian Armed Forces authority, as provided for by the law and in the Armed Forces Act.