Nigerian Army urged to consider voluntary discharge request of female soldier in psychological distress

Nigerian Army urged to discharge female soldier suffering from psychological imbalance

A 39-year-old female soldier, Lance Corporal Philomena Nnamoko, has appealed to the Nigerian Army to discharge her from service, saying she is suffering from psychological imbalance and is gradually losing her mind.

Nnamoko, who is currently serving in Ilese Barracks, Ijebu Ode, Ogun State, said she has written over ten letters to authorities seeking voluntary discharge, but nothing has been done on her case.

She told PUNCH in an interview, “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.”

Nnamoko’s counsel, Kayode Oshiyemi, said his client is going through emotional trauma, and the refusal of the Nigerian Army to give her a voluntary exit remains a mystery to them.

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.”

Army says there are terms and conditions for discharge

Reacting to the issue, the Director of Army Public Relations, Brig. Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, said there are terms and conditions regarding discharge.

He 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, also reacted to the issue, saying, “Tell the female soldier to call me. I want to hear from her.”


Lance Corporal Philomena Nnamoko’s case is a reminder of the importance of mental health awareness and support in the military. It is also a reminder of the need for the Nigerian Army to have a clear and transparent process for voluntary discharge.

It is hoped that the Army will take Nnamoko’s case seriously and consider her request for discharge. She is clearly in distress and needs to be able to access the mental health support she needs.

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