NBA protests soldiers brutality in Delta
From PAUL OSUYI, Asaba
Wednesday April 11 , 2012
The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Agbor branch has protested against alleged harassment, intimidation, brutality, extortion and extra-judicial killings by the Army in Ikaland, Delta State.
In a peaceful protest march led by the chairman of the association in the area, Mr. Joe Egun, across major streets of Agbor town, the angry lawyers accused the soldiers in the area of abandoning their role to protect the innocent citizens.
The protesters carried placards with various inscriptions including “Ikaland must be free from army brutality,” “army should fight crime and not law abiding citizens,” “we want rule of law and not inhuman treatment” among others. The lawyers alleged that army officers were busy making merry while criminals were having field day, robbing and raping helpless Ika residents.
They further accused the army officers of extorting Okada riders after confiscating their motorbikes, adding that innocent citizens were being maimed and brutalized on daily basis by the officers.
According to Egun, “we are totally opposed to the uncivilized manner the officers are going about their activities. The team has abandoned security and taken to extortion, harassment and brutality. NBA is opposed to illegality.
“About four weeks ago, a security man, Richard Buzugbe was going to work at about 8:00p.m. He was stopped on the way and the life snuffed out of him. Then just two weeks ago, one Benjamin Okube, one of our greatest employers of labour was manhandled and had his legs broken by the officers who accused him of trailing them. Also, a pastor was beaten and forced to go naked at a market place by these officers.
“All these must stop, we are tired. Robbers are having field day. The other day, robbers hijacked the Army patrol vehicle and they fled into the bush. The robbers used that vehicle for uninterrupted operation in Umunede.”
Egun called on the relevant authorities to call the army officers to order, as their activities were becoming unbearable for residents in the locality.
Efforts to get officials of the army at their base on Owa-Ekei Street, Boji-Boji Owa to react to the allegations was unsuccessful. The commander in-charge of the base was said to be away on official engagement when Daily Sun visited.
Investigations revealed that the army officers were drafted to the streets when the crime situation in the area became unbearable. They were initially said to have curtailed the situation but only recently allegedly turned against residents.