Soldiers allegedly torture, injure Bureau-De-Change operator over faulty phone

SOME soldiers attached to Letmauck Barracks, Mokola, Ibadan, Oyo State have allegedly tortured a Bureau-De-Change operator over an altercation relating to the sale of a mobile phone.

The victim, Ali Abubakar, who was receiving treatment at a private hospital, said one of the uniformed men used a knife on him and beat him to stupor during the incident which occured on Thursday evening.

It was learnt that the soldiers were led by one Audu Abubakar.

The victim, while recounting the incident, said he was waiting at his friend’s shop at Sabo and listening to music on his phone unaware that the soldiers were talking to him.

He said the soldiers thought he deliberately ignored them, saying, “before I realised that they were talking to me, they have attacked me from behind. They said I did not reply when they were talking to me. I struggled to escape from them with the help of other people who took us to the palace of our new Sarkin Hausawa in Sabo.”

He said, “The Sarkin of Hausawa blamed them for what they did to me. Shortly after that, I left the place to take my phone from my friend’s shop but before I could get my phone, the same soldier removed a knife and cut me in my hand.”

According to him, his brother assisted with his cloth to mop the bleeding while he was taken to the hospital, “As we were running, the soldier was still pursuing us with the knife until we entered a place where the occupants locked us in and he could not enter.”

The victim demanded justice saying he he had spent N100, 000 to treat the cut. “The hospital still expects a balance of N80, 000 from me. I have taken two pints of blood since I arrived here two days ago,” he said.

However, one of the soldiers in a telephone conversation said the victim and his colleagues insulted him after he bought a bad phone from the store.

He said the altercation started when the victim and his friends could not provide the location of the person that sold the faulty phone to them.

“When we ask him about the owner of the shop, he said he didn’t know his whereabouts. We ask where we can get him, but he started abusing my colleagues. I was even trying to settle it when his friends refused to listen and attacked our men with planks because they were many. They used 2 by 2 planks to hit me and other soldiers. That was how the altercation started and we tried to settle it but they didn’t listen,” he said.

The military Media and Information Officer in the state, Major Ikedichi Iweha, said a thorough investigation would be conducted while he reaffirmed the zero-tolerance policy of the Nigerian army for the torturing of civilians by members of the Nigerian Army.

“I will visit the hospital and carry out a thorough investigation on the alleged torture. It is possible we resolve it amicably without going into the pages of newspapers. Whatever we write has to do with the image of our country internationally. But I can assure you that justice will be done because we have zero tolerance for torturing civilians,” he said.

Source: Daily Trust

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