A civil society organisation headed by Falz’ mother, Funmi Falana, has asked the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Farouk Yahaya and Nigerian army to respect detained female soldier, Private Sofiyat Akinlabi’s decision to marry a male youth corps member.
The Women Empowerment & Legal Aid in a letter to the COAS, demanded the immediate release of the female soldier, and also stated that it is “illegal and unconstitutional” to restrict female military personnel from marrying for three years upon enlistment, and not subject male officers to same.
The group which declared Sofiat’s detention as “illegal”, also pointed out that no male soldier has been punished for proposing to a love interest in public.
The letter titled ‘Request for the Release of Private Sofiyat Akinlabi’, reads;
“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.
“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 Akinlabie 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.”