Soldiers in Operation Burst detained over assault of lady
HURIWA seeks probe of alleged rights abuse in Abia
Some soldiers in the Operation Burst security outfit in Oyo State have been detained in connection with the assault of a lady at Beere area of Ibadan. The detention of the soldiers was confirmed yesterday by the commander of the operation, Captain Usolo.
It was gathered that the lady was assaulted over alleged indecent dressing. The video showing the assault reportedly went viral at the weekend. Officers of the Operation Burst were seen using horsewhip on the lady in the presence of residents of the area.
Some residents of Beere community alleged that the security operatives had been terrorising them on flimsy excuses in recent time. During a programme on an Ibadan-based radio yesterday, Captain Usolo apologised to the families of those assaulted in the course of the operation.
The Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Mr. Seun Fakorede, said: “My ears are full with news of unlawful activities of some soldiers of the Nigerian Army, over the weekend.
“I reached out to the commander of the Operation Burst and I have been assured that the men involved in this distasteful operation had been arrested and taken to the barracks. They will be dealt with accordingly.”
IN a related development, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has petitioned the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen.Tukur Buratai, over allegations of sexual molestation of girls in Aba, Abia State and use of brute force on civilians by soldiers.
The rights advocacy group reminded the army chief of his solemn pledge to respect the constitutionally guaranteed fundamental freedom of the citizens.
“We urge him to act swiftly to investigate the allegations because these atrocious criminal acts of some of the operatives on internal security operations are tarnishing his hard-earned good image as a no-nonsense officer who wields the big stick to deal with acts of professional misconduct and indiscipline since the last five years,” the group said in a statement.
HURIWA also urged the hierarchy of the Nigerian Army to allow civil society groups to monitor the internal military operations of the army in Oyigbo in Rivers State to ascertain the true state of affairs there, following accusations that soldiers are engaging in ethnic profiling of Igbo residents and systematically carrying out pogroms following the recent killing of some soldiers by suspected members of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB).
In the statement signed on Sunday in Abuja by the National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, HURIWA said: “We have just deliberated for three hours, and as a body, we have decided to send to the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, a petition to draw his attention to the cases and reports of gross human rights violations by soldiers posted to Aba in Abia State on internal security operations under the Operation Crocodile Smile.
“We got reports from our members in Aba of serious violations of the fundamental dignity of the human persons against many girls by soldiers manning checkpoints, just as we have received reports of sexual harassment of girls by soldiers in Aba.”