Air force dismisses officer who raped teenager

A court martial sitting in Maiduguri, Borno state capital, has convicted Martins Owerem of the Nigerian air force (NAF), of raping a 14-year old internally displaced person (IDP).

Owerem was said to have defiled the girl when he was officer in charge of the special force battalion, near Bakassi IDP camp, in 2018.

Thereafter, the convict was charged with defilement, assault and disobedient to standing order.

Earlier, Aminu Mairuwa, prosecution counsel, told the court that the convict on September 29, 2018, while on patrol duty at Kawon Jiya community in the outskirts of Maiduguri, arrested some girls who were collecting firewood, on the pretext that they crossed into a restricted area.

Mairuwa said the convict took one of the girls into the bush and raped her.

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However, Abbas Abba, defense counsel, sought for leniency for the convict “in view of his selfless service and contributions in the counter insurgency campaign.”

In his ruling, Yakubu Auta, president of the court, held that the court found Owerem guilty on the two count charges of rape and assault.

He added that the court also found the officer guilty on the first and second-count charge, while it discharged and acquitted him on the third-count charge.

Auta held that the prosecution, through five witnesses and four exhibits, have proved their case beyond reasonable doubts.

The judge, therefore, ordered dismissal of the convict from service on the first count charge.

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