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My ordeal in the hands of soldiers, lawyer recounts

By Isaac Taiwo
25 February 2016   |   12:33 am
A FEW weeks after a video went viral of a man, Amari Sunday, beaten to stupour by Nigerian army cadets, another Nigerian, Akintoye Gabriel Adeyemi, a lawyer, was dealt the same fate by some soldiers in Lagos.

Soldiers

A FEW weeks after a video went viral of a man, Amari Sunday, beaten to stupour by Nigerian army cadets, another Nigerian, Akintoye Gabriel Adeyemi, a lawyer, was dealt the same fate by some soldiers in Lagos.

Adeyemi had woken up on the morning of February 11, 2016 to face the day’s task with vigor. All things went on schedule for the young lawyer as he left his office around 5:00pm until things went awry on his way home at exactly 6:16pm in Yaba.

According to Adeyemi, he suddenly heard a voice behind him that he should walk faster. Just as he was about to turn around to see who was urging him on, the voice added: “Do you think this is your sitting room?”

His only response was that the road was wide enough to accommodate more than one person at a time. That was the last act before a heavy slap descended on his face with a remark that “you don’t talk to a soldier like that.”

Adeyemi narrated to The Guardian: “Turning back, I saw two soldiers in Nigerian army uniform and I asked them if it was because they were in army uniform that made them to slap me. The reply I got was another slap from the second soldier, asking me why I should speak to his superior like that. After the third slap, my two legs were raised from the ground and I saw myself lying on the chest and licking the dust, with blood oozing out from my left eye.

“I was unaware of what was happening around me until some moments later when I saw that a crowd had gathered round, who assisted me to be on my feet. By the time I stood up, one of the soldiers had mounted a motorcycle to leave the scene. The second was about to escape when I grabbed the okada rider and switched off the machine’s ignition. I told him he was not going anywhere until he kills me, declaring my identity that I was a lawyer.

“In the process, I lost my two phones with the sum of N350,000 that was in an envelope. The soldier removed his nametag ‘Nko Obasi’ from his uniform and pocketed it. Luckily for me and unknown to Obasi, there was another army officer not in uniform, monitoring the unfolding event. He said to the soldier, ‘I have been watching the event and would follow you to your barracks with the person you have brutalized’.

“When we got to the gate of their barracks at Yaba, we met a two-star army officer and narrated what happened to him.
He pleaded with me to forget the case,” he explained.

Adeyemi said he was buoyed to come forward with his experience after the officer who intervened reneged on his promise to offer some assistance in treating the injuries he sustained from the brutality. “Till date, my two phones are still missing and the sum of N350,000 is yet to be found,” he added.

The Assistant Director, Army Public Relations in Lagos, Lt. Col. K. M. Samuel, in a terse reply, said the case would be investigated by the military high command.