Two Nigerian soldiers, who were caught on video beating up a physically challenged man in Onitsha, Anambra State, have been demoted and imprisoned after being summarily tried and found guilty on two counts.
To see the video where soldiers maltreat cripple click the play button below:
The video clip of the soldiers dragging and beating the crippled man went viral, attracted criticisms from the agitated public who demanded they got punished for the barbaric act.
In reaction to the incident, the director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier-General Sani Kukasheka Usman tendered an apology via a statement to the public. He also talked about how the Army ensured the guilty soldiers got punished.
“Consequently, both have been sentenced to reduction in rank; from Corporal to Private Soldiers and 21 days Imprisonment with Hard Labour (IHL) respectively, which includes forfeiture of 21 days pay to the Federal Government of Nigeria,”the statement read.
“The Nigerian Army has also reached out to the victim of their unjustifiable assault, Mr. Chijoke Uraku (alias CJ), as widely reported by the media.
“We wish to reiterate our avowed determination to ensure that troops conduct themselves in the most orderly and professional manner at all times. Any act of indiscipline would not be tolerated”, the director added.
The two soldiers whose names were given as Corporal Bature Samuel and Corporal Abdulazeez Usman are members of 82division of the Nigerian Army.
The 82 Division of the Nigerian Army donated some clothing and cash to Chijioke Arakwu, aka CJ, who was maltreated by two soldiers of 302 Artillery Regiment General Support on Wednesday, near New market road in Onitsha.
Addressing the press at the Headquarters of 302 Artillery Regiment in Onitsha on Friday, Deputy Director Public Relations, 82 Division, Colonel Sagir Musa, at the instance of the General Officer Commanding 82 Division, Major General Adamu Abubakar, stated that the Nigerian Army under the leadership of Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai has zero tolerance for human rights abuses and would not condone or encourage professional misconduct among its officers and men.
Also speaking at the event, the Commanding Officer of the Regiment, Colonel Idongesit Akpan appreciated members of the press for their balanced and objective reports on the issue and promised that such misconduct would not occur again
In a remark at the occasion, Commissioner for Women Affairs, Dr Victoria Chikweli who served as the representative of the state governor commended the Army for the timely response and excellent management of the crisis where soldiers maltreat cripple.
The commissioner also promised the victim that the state governor, Willie Obiano would receive him soon.