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 killing his female colleague and lover, late Aircraftwoman (ACW) Solape Oladipupo, aka Shomzy Shomzy, on March 12, 2017.
The sitting, which started in the early hours of Tuesday, continued till 4pm when it was stood down before the panelists reconvened at 7.30pm.
Reading out the 70-page court findings, which lasted for about two hours, the Judge Advocate, Flight Lieutenant M.A. Umoh, listed the eight-count charges against the 21-year-old Kalu to include murder, house breaking, impersonation, failure to perform military duty, loss of Service property and disobedience to standing orders among others.
However, the Defence Counsel, Abimiku Ewuga, pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy, saying the accused was his family breadwinner.
In his judgment, the President of the Court, Group Captain Elisha Bindul, found ACM Kalu guilty of the charges, leading to his death sentence – a verdict that is subject to the confirmation of the conveying authority.
A statement by Air Commodore Olatokunbo Adesanya, Director, NAF Public Relations and Information said, “The verdict is, however, subject to confirmation by the Convening Authority”.
Ewuga, 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” Adesanya said.
The accused had on March 12, 2017, killed Oladipupo at her Corporal and Below Quarters, Compound 9, Air Force Base, Makurdi, on the suspicion that she was in a love relationship with another man.
He had broken into Oladipupo’s home before shooting her in the neck at close range.