The General Court Martial (GCM) sitting at the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Base in Makurdi has sentenced Aircraftman (ACM) Bernard Kalu to death by hanging for shooting and killing his female colleague, late Aircraftwoman (ACW) Sholape Oladipupo.
Delivering the judgment on Tuesday, 15 August 2017, the President of the GCM, Group Captain Elisha Bindul, found ACM Kalu guilty of the charges of murder, house breaking, impersonation, failure to perform military duty, loss of Service property and disobedience to standing orders.
A statement by Air Commodore Olatokunbo Adesanya said, “The verdict is, however, subject to confirmation by the Convening Authority”.
The Defence Counsel, however, expressed dissatisfaction with the verdict, adding that if the Convening Authority did not review the verdict, he would appeal to a higher court.
The judgment Tuesday brought to an end, months of the GCM trial of the unfortunate shooting incident involving the two NAF personnel.
It would be recalled that ACM Kalu shot and killed ACW Oladipupo Sholape on 12 March 2017 at the NAF Base, Makurdi.
The successful conclusion of the GCM is a validation of the NAF’s earlier assurance to the general public that justice would be served to all concerned parties in the matter.
Recall that Kalu was arrested after allegedly shooting and killing Oladipupoon March 12 this year at her Corporal and Below Quarters, Compound 9, Air Force Base, Makurdi on the allegation that she was having double affair.
After breaking into Oladipupo’s home in the early hours of the fateful Sunday, 21 years old Kalu shot her on the neck at close range, and also attempted to kill the other man whom he had suspected she was having an affair with.
The other man was saved when Kalu’s rifle got jammed, giving the man the opportunity to fight for his life by struggling the rifle with him until he was able to disarm him.
Kalu was later arrested and detained and a board of inquiry set up to investigate the matter. The BOI later submitted its report resulting in the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar ordering that he face a court martial.
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