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Army Chief Probes Alleged Torture Of Delta Community Leader By Soldiers




The Chief of Army Staff, COAS, Lt. Gen Yusuf Buratai, has ordered the Nigerian Army Corps of Military Police, 6 Division Provost Group of the Headquarters 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt, to investigate the alleged assault and torture of Freedom Odiete, a community leader in Ovwian town by solders of the 3 Battalion, Effurun in Uvwie Local Government Area of Delta State.
Oasis Magazine (OM) gathered that the COAS order follows a petition written by the law firm of Ikimi Oghenejabor & CO., and a fundamental rights suit against Captain Kingsley Ukwani, the Nigerian Army and others.
In the case with Suit No: OUHC/65/2018 at the High Court in Otor-Udu, the law firm is seeking for half a billion naira damage against the army.
In the petition to the COAS, Barr. Ikimi said that Odiete, on the 21st of February, 2018 at about 11:30a.m., was intercepted at the popular Jigbale Market, Ovwian, Delta State by soldiers numbering eight, led by one Captain Kingsley Ukwani, the head of Operations at the 3 Battalion, Effurun Barracks, Effurun, Delta State who ordered Odiete at gun point to come down from his vehicle and enter the Hilux Van conveying the said soldiers.
Odiete was then taken away to the Army Barracks, Effurun by the soldiers where he was stripped naked by the soldiers after which his legs and hands were chained by his abductors who severely assaulted, battered and tortured him.
According to the petition, Odiete was accused by the soldiers of being responsible for the disappearance of Oghenerume Bejeru, an alleged robbery suspect caught in the act at the Ogodogun-Ogode Urban Area of Ovwian Town.
Odiete during the torture is said to have sustained multiple bruises, lacerations to the buttocks and his left upper limb swollen.
After the torture, the victim, same day was driven by two military Policemen in their Hilux Van to the Area Command Office, Warri where investigation commenced immediately.
Oasis Magazine (OM) gathered that the Area Commander, ACP Muhammad M. Shaba ordered the release of Odiete after he was exonerated of any wrong doing. The victim was treated at the Nigeria Police Clinic, Area Command, Warri where he was issued a medical report to that effect.
Ikimi noted that the case/suit is geared towards promoting human rights culture in the polity, saying that the case is not aimed at disparaging anybody or institution.
He added: “We hope that this case/suit would serve as a lesson to the men in uniform to respect the fundamental rights of the civil population.”

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