How Soldiers Battered Journalist Over Right Of Way In Aba

How Soldiers Battered Journalist Over Right Of Way In Aba

By Eseme MacDonald | Associate Editor on November 3, 2015
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FILE: The final contingent of reinforcements under current deployment plans, a group of around forty soldiers from Cameroon, departs by truck after arriving to bolster the multinational central-african regional force known as FOMAC which now numbers around a thousand troops, at the airport in Bangui, Central African Republic Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013. | AP Photo/Ben Curtis

A correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria, Ijendu Iheaka, was battered by a group of unidentified soldiers over right of way on his way to an assignment in Aba, Abia State.

According to Iheaka, he was headed to Umuode area of the city when he came face to face with the soldiers who were in a patrol van, marked Army 014.

Iheaka said he was at a muddy portion of the road near Winners Church, along the Enugu-Port Harcourt expressway when suddenly the driver shouted at him to move and before he knew what was happening, the soldiers alighted from the car and assaulted him, tore his shirts and left him with swollen knees.

Narrating the incident, the victim said: “I got to a muddy portion of the road and even waited for the coming vehicle to pass before stepping in to wade through the spot. The soldiers van came into the same portion when I had already gone half way.

“There was no safe place to make way for them to pass in the mud. Before I know what was happening, the driver started shouting, ‘waka, waka’, pointing his fingers at me while others came out and started beating me.

“They used the nozzle of their guns to hit my knees and tore my shirt. After they left, I couldn’t even walk, a good Samaritan assisted me to a tricycle which took me home. I have contacted the military authorities in Aba, they promised to investigate; yet nothing has come out of it.”

He told Vanguard the soldiers would have inflicted more injuries on him but for passersby who pleaded that he should be left alone and assisted to clean him up when the solders left.

The victim is still reportedly nursing the injuries he sustained from the assault and as such, yet to resume work.

The Chairman of Civil Liberties Organization, CLO, Aba Unit, Prof. Charles Chinekezi, condemned the attack and urged soldiers to be civil while going about their duties in the city.

He further called on the military officials in the state to ensure the erring soldiers are fished out and punished to avoid a recurrence.

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