A naval rating, Joseph Moses, who threw his three-week-old daughter into the Lagos Lagoon, has been sentenced to ten years imprisonment for kidnap and manslaughter.

Moses was found guilty of kidnapping and killing his child, Happiness, on February 2, 2012.

He and some others had gone to his girlfriend, Glory Yusuf’s house at Ajegunle, kidnapped the baby and beat the mother up.

Moses, a father of two, then threw the baby into the lagoon at Liverpool, Apapa, because he did not want a child outside wedlock.?

A court martial was subsequently instituted by the naval authorities following a petition by Access To Justice on behalf of the baby’s mother. ?

The court, which has been sitting for the past three months suffered several adjournments but on Monday, Moses was found guilty of a three count charge of kidnapping, manslaughter and misconduct under the Second Schedule of the Armed Forces Act.

A statement by Lt. Cmdr. Jerry Omodara, the Western Naval Command Information Officer on Monday, said the naval authorities found moses guilty and sentenced him accordingly.

?Joseph was found guilty on count one, which is kidnapping and sentenced to ten years imprisonment. He was also found guilty on count two, manslaughter, and sentenced to ten years and two years imprisonment after being found guilty on count three, misconduct,” he said.

“The sentences are to run concurrently. The sentences are however, pending confirmation by the Naval Headquarters.”

Omodara stated that the court martial was fair as Moses was given the opportunity to defend himself.

?The Court Martial was opened to members of the public, with several interest groups witnessing the procedure such as the media, office of the Public Defender and Lagos State Ministry of Justice. The accused was given the opportunity to defend himself and was represented by a lawyer from the Nigerian Navy and a civilian,” the statement read.

Omodara further stated that the Naval authorities will not shield any erring officer, adding that the navy “has zero tolerance for indiscipline”.

Despite the judgment, Joseph Otteh, the Executive Director of Access to Justice, stated that Glory, who had suffered physically and psychologically as a result of Moses’ action deserved to be compensated.

“We need to ask what is in it for this young lady who had suffered so much. Apart from the judgment, there is no compensation for the mother of the child for all the pains she has gone through,” he said.

“The naval authorities and the government should come to her aid. Glory has suffered too much. She has been warned to stay out of the case, but with our backing she stayed put despite the hardship she is facing. There is need to compensate her.”

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