#Respect Female Soldier’s Decision To Marry Male Youth Corps, Who Locked Lips With Her – Falana Tells COAS

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A civil society organisation, the Women Empowerment & Legal Aid, on Monday, 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 corps member.

According to Punch Newspapers The Chairperson of the group, Funmi Falana, in a letter to the COAS, demanded the immediate release of the soldier who had since been detained by the military authorities after accepting the marriage proposal of an unnamed corper at the National Youth Service Corps Orientation Camp in Yikpata, Kwara State.

The female soldier was said to have broken five military rules by the Army spokesperson, Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, who affirm that Private Sofiyat Akanbi violates military law by fraternizing with a junior parliamilitary trainee after locking of lips with a male youth corp in viral video

However, in the letter titled, ‘Request for the Release of Private Sofiyat Akinlabi’, the wife of the Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, said the female soldier “has not contravened the regulation on restriction of marriage for three years”.

“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,” the letter added.

The female Falana also argued that no male soldier has been punished for proposing to a love interest in public has seen on social media. She, therefore, declared as illegal, the detention of Akinlabi.

The letter partly read, “In view of the fact that male soldiers have not been penalized for involving themselves in a public display of amorous relationship in full military uniform the threat to sanction Private Sofiyat Akinlabi is discriminatory. Some of the photographs of male soldiers involved in a public display of amorous relationship are attached.

“In view of the foregoing, we urge you to use your good offices to order the release of Private Sofiyat Akinlabi from further custody. 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.

“While wishing you compliments of the season, please accept the assurances of our professional regards and esteem.”

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