British Army sergeant accused of bigamy after marrying second wife in Kenya

Friday, 23 February 2024
 - A British Army sergeant has been convicted of bigamy after he married a second wife in Kenya during a Sharia Law ceremony.

Sgt Noa Dravikula tied the knot with a second woman, Kuki Wason, in an Islamic marriage while he was overseas on deployment in the East African nation.

The 42-year-old soldier had been separated from his first wife but not officially divorced when he sparked up his new love affair, a court martial heard.
He was caught out by Army bosses after he expressed his 'wish' to bring Ms Wason back to the UK with him.

At Bulford Military Court, Wiltshire, Sgt Dravikula claimed he had no idea his wedding in Kenya counted because the service was in Swahili and he didn't understand it.

But, following a three-day trial, he was convicted of bigamy.

Sgt Dravikula had been deployed to the British Army Training Unit Kenya (BATUK) facility in Nanyuki, to the north of Nairobi, when he 'started a relationship' with Kenyan woman Kuki Wason.

In October 2021, the couple enjoyed an Islamic marriage ceremony, called a nikah, which meant he was committing bigamy.

British law states couples can marry if they're both aged 18 or over and are free to marry, if they're single, widowed or divorced, or if they were in a civil partnership which has been dissolved.

The marriage came to the attention of Army top brass when Sgt Dravikula wanted to bring Ms Wason back to the UK with him.

Prosecutor Flight Lieutenant Charlotte Adams told the court Sgt Dravikula married his first wife in June 2011 in a Methodist church in Fiji.

The court heard Sgt Dravikula's first wife, with whom he shares a child, had initiated divorce proceedings after their separation in March 2017.

However, the divorce had not yet been finalised and so they were not officially separated.

Flt Lt Adams said: 'He then proceeded to marry a second individual, Kuki Wason, on October 29, 2021, whilst married to his first wife.

'In doing do he committed bigamy.

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