A group of soldiers on Wednesday, August 26, 2015 invaded the premises of Evbuoriaria Magistrate’s Court in Benin, Edo State capital.
During the invasion, the soldiers released four suspects who were awaiting arraignment by officials of the Edo State War Against Indiscipline, WAI.
Earlier same day, the soldiers also raided the premises of WAI located at the Ministry of Arts, Culture and Tourism, and allegedly beat up staff of the agency in their bid to rescue the arrested suspects.
WAI officials were said to have arrested a couple and impounded their Mitsubishi car with number plates EDO BEN 451 FH along Airport Road over alleged violation of traffic rules, Vanguard reports.
The couple put a call to some persons, following which a detachment of soldiers stormed the premises, releasing gunshots into the air and beating up some staff of the agency.
The soldiers left the premises following the intervention of the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transport, Lawrence Loye, a retired Army Major, intervened and the soldiers left the premises.
The agency’s officials, in line with Edo State traffic and sanitation laws, immediately took the suspects to a magistrate’s court.
The suspects were at the court premises with officials of WAI awaiting the assigning of the case to a magistrate, when a detachment of soldiers arrived the court in a Toyota Hilux van and dragged the suspects out of the WAI vehicle into theirs.
A Chief Magistrate described the action as shameful and directed staff to write a petition to relevant authorities.
Edo State chairman of WAI, David Olukogha, said the soldiers, attached to a construction company (names withheld), acted on the orders of an expatriate worker with the company.
He gave the names of the suspects as Edna Oriakogba, Paulinus Ekwugwu, Eddy Inogie and Okwolise Lucky.
The Army Public Relations, 4 Brigade Benin, is yet to confirm the incident as at the time of filing this report.