A lawyer, Adeyemi Akintoye, is currently receiving treatment from a hospital in the Yaba area of Lagos State after two soldiers allegedly brutalised him for “walking slowly on the road.”
Punch Metro learnt that one of the soldiers, identified as Uko Obasi, from the Tailoring Department of the Ordinance Barracks, Yaba, allegedly assaulted Akintoye near Tejuosho Market, Ojuelegba Road, Yaba, and kicked him repeatedly with his boot.
It was learnt that the assault occurred at about 6pm on Thursday, while Akintoye was returning from work, during which the lawyer was dispossessed of a sum of N350,000 he had collected from a client.
It was gathered that at that time, Akintoye, who held a folder containing the money, was walking down the road when the soldiers, who were behind him, ordered him to walk faster.
Akintoye was said to have replied that he was not obstructing their movement as the road was wide enough for everyone to pass.
Punch Metro learnt that the soldiers were infuriated by the lawyer’s response and allegedly beat him up.
It was gathered that when the lawyer fell and became still, a crowd, which gathered at the scene, held Uko Obasi, while his colleague fled from the scene.
Akintoye and Uko Obasi were said to have been taken to the Ordinance Barracks where the army authorities promised to look into the matter and get back to the lawyer. The matter was later reported at the Sabo Police Division.
Speaking with Punch Metro, 33-year-old Akintoye said the soldiers wanted to escape from the scene, adding that his wallet and folder containing about N350,000, paid by one of his clients, was stolen during the commotion.
He said, “I was coming from work on Thursday around 6pm. Near the Yaba Market, I heard a voice behind me saying, ‘Walk faster. Do you think this is your sitting room?’ I replied, ‘The space is wide enough for anyone to pass’. I received a slap from behind immediately.
“When I looked back and saw two soldiers, I said, ‘What is my offence?’ I received another slap and they started beating me up.
“They were with daggers. They punched me and kicked me with their boots. People were shouting that I would die.
“In the commotion, my wallet and ATM cards were stolen. My folder containing N350,000 was stolen. It was given to me as part payment by a client. Blood was streaming down my face. When they saw the blood, they wanted to escape.
“But I held on to one of them. People gathered and started taking photographs. The other soldier escaped. I did not know that a senior police officer was around and watching.”
The lawyer added that when he and the soldier were taken to the barracks, the military authorities promised to get back to him.
“It was the police officer who took both of us to the barracks. At the barracks, one of the senior military officers said I was a “bloody civilian” and could be beaten up by soldiers.
“Another officer apologised and took my contact details, saying the military would get back to me. I went to a hospital immediately to get treatment for the injuries I sustained,” Akintoye added.
The spokesperson for the Nigerian Army, Division 81, Col. Kingsley Samuel, said the matter would be investigated, saying the army would not condone indiscipline on the part of its officers.
He said, “We are going to investigate the matter. But let the lawyer give a better description of the barracks so we can be sure where the soldiers are attached.”