By Wahab Akanji, AbujaÂ
Supreme Court has upheld the four year jail term conviction imposed on a soldier, Corporal Isah Ahmed by a military court martial.Â Ahmed was charged for defiling an 11 year old girl (names withheld) before the General Court Marshal on a one-count charge of defilement contrary to Section 78 of the Armed Forces Act CAP A 20 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.Â
He was tried by the court, which found him guilty of the charges but dissatisfied with the judgment, he went to the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja, which also, in its judgment on March 18, 2010 upheld the decision of the Court Marshal, a decision Ahmed appealed to the Supreme Court.Â
In its judgment on July 1, the Supreme Court agreed with the Court Marshal and Court of Appeal that the prosecution proved it’s case of defilement against the appellant (Ahmed).Â
Justice kudirat Kekekere-Ekun, who wrote the lead judgment, said, “I am of the view that the lower court (Court of Appeal) was right when it affirmed the decision of the General Court Marshal that the prosecution had proved it’s case against the appellant beyond reasonable doubt.Â
The court, in a unanimous judgment by a five-man panel, held that the General Court Marshal and the Court of Appeal, Abuja division (to which Ahmed had appealed) were right in convicting and sentencing Ahmed to four years in imprisonment.Â
Ahmed, who was said to have lured the girl into his apartment, in his wife’s absence, by asking the girl to buy soft drink for him.Â
“Furthermore, so long as a person has carnal knowledge of a girl of under the age of 16, whether it is with her consent or not, an offence is committed.