Soldier accused of assaulting Woman arrested, detained
A soldier has been detained by the 4-Brigade of the Nigerian Army (NA) for brutalizing a young lady, identified as Vivian Johnson, inside the Ikpoba Hill Army barrack in Benin City, the Edo state capital.
The development is coming less than 48 hours after it was reported that the soldier, one Sergeant David attached to the brigade, allegedly dehumanized the young lady around the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) office block within the old barrack, inflicting injuries on her.
Speaking on the incident, an officer anonymously said: “On Tuesday, he (the soldier) was invited, and he is currently being detained at the 4 Brigade headquarters, military police guardroom.
“The lady in question was also visited at the hospital where she is being treated. I am very sure that the Army will do justice, but they are still investigating.”
The assistant director, Army Public Relations, Captain Yemi Sokoya, had earlier promised to investigate the matter.
“We can only find out; investigate if the soldier is found culpable, then we take action,” Captain Sokoya told a reporter on Monday in Benin, via a telephone interview.
According to the victim, who is currently being hospitalized, she was coming back home at about 7 pm on Sunday after seeing off her friend who had visited her earlier inside the barrack.
She explained that trouble started after she refused to respond to a call from the soldier who was in mufti in a dark spot.
“So, he started shining a torch in my eyes. I told him, ‘Sir, please stop shining the torch on my face; I have bad eyes.’ He asked, ‘Who am I? Who are you to say you have bad eyes?’ Then he slapped me.
“As he slapped me, I asked, ‘What did I do? I’m in the barrack; you are supposed to be protecting me.’ He said he would kill me, and then he started using a chain to flog me, even though I did nothing wrong,” she narrated in pidgin English as she wept.
However, when contacted on Wednesday, Sokoya further confirmed the arrest and detention of the alleged erring soldier, even as he said a committee has been set up on the matter.
“The soldier has been arrested for the necessary action to be taken,” he told our Correspondent.
Reacting, a human rights activist, leftist Omobude Agho, called on the Army to swiftly ensure that the victim receives medical care until she is fit and to compensate her for the trauma caused by their personnel.
“As a democratically established system of government in Nigeria, the military does not have business in our setting; hence their duty is to protect the citizens, as well as the country against any external attacks.
“Not to come into our cities and be brutalizing citizens,” said the former coordinator-general of Edo Civil Society Organizations (EDOCSO).