The Nigerian Army on Tuesday in Abuja dismissed four soldiers accused of rape, extortion and assault.
The soldiers include one corporal and three privates, who were attached to the Guards Brigade, an arm of the Nigerian Army, Abuja.
The Guards Brigade, which has three battalions (7, 176 and 177), is a special unit of the military that oversees the security of the President and Aso Rock. President Goodluck Jonathan lives in Aso Rock.
Brig-Gen Emmanuel Atewe, the Commander of the Brigade, said the soldiers were said to have abducted and raped some women at a garden in Wuse Zone 2, Abuja.
The commander, who was represented by Maj. Peter Elayo, said the Federal Radio Corporation (FRCN) reported the incident on Jan 14.
Mr. Atewe said that the report made the brigade to institute a Board of Inquiry to investigate the circumstance surrounding the allegation with a view to taking punitive action to prevent future reoccurrence.
“The board whose report has already been submitted was able to establish that the four soldiers, during the period, abandoned their duty post to an unauthorized destination.
“The investigation led to their trial and they were found guilty of misdemeanor and abandoning their location where they were officially deployed, thereby compromising security.
“The soldiers have subsequently been dismissed from service in line with service discipline,’’ Mr. Atewe said.
He said the brigade had a track record of discipline and does not condone any act of indiscipline or misdemeanor.
He said that the brigade would neither shield nor protect and encourage the few bad eggs among its personnel who run afoul of military ethics and code of conduct.
“While the brigade regrets this dastardly act, we want to assure the public that the brigade is fully resolved to protect lives and property while carrying out its duty diligently, professionally and with regards to the rule of law and respect to human rights.’’
The commander said that the soldiers would be handed over to the police for further investigation and prosecution.
One of the dismissed soldiers, who spoke to newsmen, blamed the devil for his action and pleaded for forgiveness.