20170319

I begged but soldiers kept flogging me with sticks & fan belts — Brutalised Lagos Lady

Mrs. Ruth Orji who was brutalised by some soldiers in the Ikorodu area of Lagos State, narrates the incident. It was unmistaken over the telephone that Mrs. Ruth Orji’s had been crying all day. Her voice clearly conveyed misery.

One could not also miss the fact that her grief was both physical and emotional.

In a grave, broken voice, Orji, a mother of three, said she thought she was going to die the night she was flogged mercilessly by military officials attached to 174 Battalion, Ikorodu, Lagos.

Amid her sorry state, she managed to narrate how it all happened...
“I still remember all that happened that day; my two brothers and I had attended a birthday party at a hotel, Sheriff Hotel, along Sagamu Road, Ikorodu. Apparently, a fight had broken out in the neighbourhood which we knew nothing about; there were policemen around – I believe to calm the situation. It was about 8:30pm at night; my brothers and I had packed our vehicle outside the hotel. On getting to the gate of the hotel, we asked the gateman to kindly open the gate so we could leave. Just as he opened, a military officer approached us and began to flog my brother and other persons waiting at the gate. I pleaded with him to stop flogging while explaining to him that we were innocent and knew nothing about the fight that broke out. Then he slapped me on the face; I was shocked. I asked him why he slapped me and he slapped me again on the face.’’

She took few minutes to relax her nerves before continuing: “I told him that on Monday (the following day), I would be at his barracks to report his action. Then another military official dragged me from my brothers and pushed me into one of the two patrol vans parked. One of my brothers succeeded in escaping. I and my brother, together with other persons, were taken to their barracks. That was the beginning of my sorrow. I was flogged mercilessly by three soldiers. I kept pleading with them to have mercy on me. I begged and begged for forgiveness but they turned a deaf ear to my cries. I can still feel the strike of each stick and belt used to beat me. They used their belts to flog me for an hour. I’m in serious pains.

“They also lied against me. The military officials said I told the officer who slapped me that I was going to ensure his removal from the military; but I never said that. There were policemen at the scene, if I had committed any offence, the military officials should have taken me to them rather than slap me. In fact, at the barracks, I almost died from the lashes I received.”

Aside the lashes, Orji said her phone, slippers and jewelry were seized from her. Punch gathered that when her phone was eventually returned to her, it had been switched off. At the time, her family members were trying to reach her.

“I’m sure I may have passed out that night because the next thing I remember after the flogging was that I was on a hospital bed. When I inquired from the medical officers where I was, they said it was a military hospital in 174 Battalion. On Tuesday, the following day, I was able call my family members on phone to inform them about my whereabouts,” she said.

Despite the unimaginable pain she is facing on her hospital bed, Orji, like any true mother, said her only wish is to see her children.

“I’ve not seen my children since Sunday, March 12. My children are very young; aged 9, 6 and 4. I can only imagine what they are passing through. My children don’t even know where I am. We have never been apart for this long. I pleaded with the military doctor and other officials to allow me see my children but they said no. I see myself as a single mother, my children need me. They should please allow me to see my children,” she pleaded.

She added that only her phone and a pair of slippers were returned to her with her jewelry still missing. Also, Orji said that at the military hospital, her visitors were barred from seeing her.

“Luckily, one of my sisters managed to sneak into the hospital. She was able to take pictures of my body to show Nigerians my bruises. She helped me spread the news about how I was unfairly brutalised. I think the leaked pictures spurred the visit of a brigadier general from Ikeja – I didn’t get his name; he visited me this morning (Wednesday morning). He was not happy about what happened to me. He said the soldiers involved would be dealt with; he left afterwards,” Orji stated.

Orji’s narration was interrupted by a doctor treating her who sounded uncomfortable with her long conversation on phone. He uttered a few words to her and her response was, “Doctor, please just give me five minutes to finish this conversation.”

She later added that the treatment she was receiving at the military hospital was poor, noting that between Sunday night and Wednesday, she was only given one injection.

Orji stated, “I’m in serious pains; no one can imagine what I’m passing through. The drugs I’m being given too are poor. I told the doctor that they should please take me to a general hospital where I can receive proper treatment. I’m feeling sick; my temperature is high. I told him I don’t want to die here. But the doctor said it was one ‘madam’ that ordered that I should be treated there and he cannot discharge me,” she said.

Meanwhile, as of Wednesday, the 81 Division of the Nigerian Army said it had inaugurated a Board of Inquiry and detained six soldiers in connection with Orji’s brutality.

It was learnt that Orji was later transferred to a hospital in Ikeja Military Cantonment.

21 comments:

  1. The way military personnel treat Nigerian citizens as if we are animals needs an urgent attention. They better be called to order.

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  2. Let Nigeria confirmed soldiers to barrack....this is too much

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  3. dis one na bad luck oooo

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  4. do we now have beasts as army men now..a woman whom u found no weapon on and made no attack on you but beg is who you beat even more than a boko haram suspect..i hope they are severely dealt with..please dont allow this woman die for nothing

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  5. Imfact the nigeria government must fine out who are dis wicked military men and they must be brought to BOOK

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  6. sorry they will be dealt with

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  7. Hassan Aderemi19 March, 2017 14:46

    The life of this woman is important now, if she's complaining of poor treatment at the military hospital, they should better referr her to general hospital while the panel of inquiry continue on the soldiers that involved in her brutality.

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  8. Dis is 2 much, d soldiers concerned should b purnished

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  9. Those soldiers who did that are beast and wicked

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  10. This soldiers are heartless.

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  11. I'm very annoyed about this wicked brutality. That particular zombi solgier should be punished

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  12. Wicked men in uniform

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  13. All the soldiers involved should be put to death...

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  14. Oladimeji Seun19 March, 2017 21:15

    I believe the military authority should do something on this matter.

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  15. The military we not correct this now that are only focusing on civilians wearing their uniform

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  16. the question is, how come the soldiers found it easy to bring people into their barracks and brutalize them without the military police becoming aware? i think when the commanders of such barracks share in the punishment, perhaps there will be some sanity.

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  17. Justice must be done on those soldiers...

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