A 39-year-old female soldier, Lance Corporal Philomena Nnamoko, has alleged that she is psychologically imbalanced and is losing her mind since the Nigerian Army has refused to discharge her from service.
PUNCH Metro gathered that Nnamoko currently serves in Ilese Barracks, Ijebu Ode, Ogun State.
Nnamoko told our correspondent on Thursday that she had written a series of letters to authorities seeking voluntary discharge but nothing has been done on her case.
She said, “I am gradually losing my mind, I am psychologically imbalanced, and people are saying they want to book me for AWOL. I cannot go through that torture again. I want to leave the service.
“The last letter I wrote was on December 11, 2022, and the last batch of those discharged was on July 28, 2023, but my name was not there. Even those who had just written theirs and submitted it in January and February were discharged.
“I have written more than 10 letters to the Army asking for a voluntary discharge but I have not been considered. I don’t know what I have done.”
Counsel for the soldier, Kayode Oshiyemi, also raised concerns over the safety of his client in the system.
He said, “She is currently going through an emotional trauma. She has written three letters since after the first publication by The PUNCH on this matter. But why she is not being discharged is still a mystery to us.
“Let them let her go, she wants to leave the service. She comes to my office crying every day. Please, let the Army discharge her freely, she wants out.”
When contacted, the Director, Army Public Relations, Brig. Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, said, “The Nigerian Army is not an Army of conscription. There are terms and conditions of service guiding the enlistment or commissioning, period of service and even discharge or retirement of personnel of the Nigerian Army. Once the personnel concerned meets these provisions for discharge or retirement, it will be approved.”
The spokesperson for the 81 Division, Nigerian Army, Major Olaniyi Osoba, simply said, “Tell the female soldier to call me. I want to hear from her.”
The PUNCH on December 7, 2022, published a story on Nnamoko’s plight.