How Soldiers dehumanised me like a common criminal – Retired Police CSP cries for justice

How Soldiers dehumanised me like a common criminal – Retired Police CSP cries for justice

Officers of the Nigerian Army enforcing a curfew imposed by the state government on the people of Enugu State’s Igbo-Eze North Local Government Area have allegedly dehumanized a Town Union President of Imufu community, Lawrence Mamah, in the council area.

Mamah, a retired Deputy Superintendent of Police, told newsmen that his problem began when an unidentified Army Major commanding the troops enforcing the curfew invited him to his office and demanded a list of members of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPoB, and the Eastern Security Network, ESN, who were allegedly operating in his area.

He also said that when he told the army officer that he had no knowledge of the above-mentioned groups’ operations in his area, he allegedly began brutalizing him, hitting him with bench while tying his hands like a common criminal.

He also stated that despite introducing himself as a member of his community, the officer refused to release him, threatening to kill him if he did not provide the list he requested.

“I went out with my wife in the evening of the fateful day and came back to the Shehu Shagari Low-Cost Housing Estate where I am living and decided to go and have a shower.

“I was carrying a bucket of water into the bathroom when a soldier came and told me that his commander wanted to see me and that the matter was urgent.

“I said okay, and dropped the water, put on my clothes again and followed them, hoping to take my bath later.

“However, on reaching the Major’s office, the man barked at me saying, I had been in their midst without coming to introduce myself to him.

“Before I made attempts to explain myself, he accused me of knowing the names of all the IPoB and ESN people operating in the local government, without giving them their names so that they would go and finish them.

“I told him that it wasn’t long since I retired from the police after 35 years of service and that I was the Town Union President of my community. I also explained to him that we had a commander in the Central Neighbourhood Watch, who usually reported to the Local Government Chairman and the State Neighbourhood Watch Director in Enugu.

“The Major told me that whether I liked it or not, that I must provide the names of the IPOB and ESN members operating in the local government, and that I would be executed if I failed to do that.

“When I tried to talk again, he roared, you think I am joking? I will kill you and write a statement and nothing will happen! He then hit my right leg with a bench in the office, which temporarily paralysed me. Earlier, he had ordered me to sit down on the bare floor.

“After hitting me with the bench which caused a lot of bleeding, he asked that my hand should be tied behind my back and they were immediately tied. As I was groaning due to the pain I was having, my wife called my younger brother who is a Magistrate.

“They called the Local Government Chairman, Prince Ejike Itodo among others. It was their intervention that saved me.

“I have never received such inhuman treatment since my life. After serving Nigeria for 35 years, I returned home only to be treated as a common criminal.

“These are soldiers who may not have been born by the time I enlisted in the police. I served the country in Lagos, Ogun, Taraba and Enugu States respectively without blemish only to return home to be humiliated and threatened that I would be killed and follow up with a statement, and nothing will happen.

“I was rushed to St. Theresa’s Hospital in Enugu Ezike, before I was taken to the Enugu State University Teaching Hospital, for further treatment.

“I hope that the Chief of Army Staff, COAS, the GOC, 82 Division, Enugu, the media and the human rights community will intervene on my behalf by investigating the human rights abuses against Nigerians by persons who are paid by taxpayers to protect them,” he said.

Residents of Igbo-Eze North Local Government Area, according to newsmen have allegedly been subjected to heavy exploitation by some army officers in the area.

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