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Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Armed forces batter Edo WAI officials, sack magistrates, free offenders

There was confusion at the Edo State Magistrates’ courts in Benin, the state capital, on Wednesday, when some soldiers reportedly beat up some officials of the Edo State Committee on War Against Indiscipline.
The soldiers were also said to have stormed the premises of the Edo State Magistrates’ court complex on Sapele road at about 1pm and foiled an attempt by the WAI officials to arraign four persons for allegedly beating traffic.
It was learnt that the soldiers, allegedly attached to Setraco, a construction firm, drove into the court premises in two Hilux vehicle and threatened menacingly with their riffles, causing policemen and courts officials to flee the court premises to take cover.
It was gathered that the soldiers had earlier raided the office of the agency on Ezoti Street and the Ministry of Works, after a woman, who was among those arrested, put a call across to someone.
The Chairman of WAI, Mr. David Olukoga, said two officials of the agency, including an elderly man, were hospitalised due to injuries sustained during the incident.
He said, “In less than 10 minutes, an Army van pulled up with about seven military men and they started beating everybody in sight, injured all the workers and tried to remove the (impounded) vehicle but they could not, until rescue came.
“And when rescue came, we were able to apprehend the woman and the person she called and brought them to the court premises for trial, for harassment, intimidation and molesting government workers.
“While we were still at the court we heard that they (soldiers) went to the Ministry of Works, beat up people. And from there, they advanced to the court, chased away policemen, magistrates, everybody and released suspects under trial.
Olukoga, who described the incident as disappointing, urged the leadership of the Four Brigade Command to caution the soldiers.
“This is very sad and I don’t think we can continue like this. This is not the Nigerian Army we used to know. We are calling on their commandant to call them (soldiers) to order.
“They (soldiers) are from Setraco.‎ Action must be taken against this particular issue; we are not going to allow this issue to rest,” he added.
When contacted, the spokesperson for the Four Brigade Command, Captain Jonah Unuakhalu, said he would get back to our correspondent.
But he was yet to do so at the time of filing the report.

Source Punch 

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