On Tuesday, 7th February, 2017, two power-drunk soldiers, Corporal Bature Samuel and Corporal Abdulazeez Usman, saw a man, a cripple, Mr. Chijioke Uraku, wearing a military camouflage, threw his wheelchair away, dragged him on the street, lashed him with horsewhips and beat him up to a pulp while the civilians looked on helplessly. We must quickly say, in fairness to the military High Command, represented by the Director, Army Public Relations, Brig.-General Sani Kukasheka Usman, that the prompt civilian-friendly reaction of the Command was highly enheartening.
In his mollifying reaction, Gen. Usman said, “In line with our zero tolerance for acts of indiscipline and unprofessional conducts, especially in relation to violation of human rights, we wish to further state that the soldiers involved have been identified and apprehended. They have also been charged for assault by their Commanding Officer…” Continuing, he said, “The public should please regard this ugly incident as an isolated case which is not [a] true reflection of the Nigerian Army.” We dare say that this last statement is miles away from the truth. To give the lie to it, the newspaper report of the conviction and sentence of another military officer, a randy Lance Corporal Oge Etudo, who raped and murdered a hawker with a jackknife in the Abuja area uncannily coincided with the brutalization by the two soldiers, corp. bature Samuel and corp. abdulazeez usman, of a cripple at Onitsha! Tried and found gulty on two counts. Sentenced to reduction in rank…from corporal to private soldiers and 21 days imprisonment with hard labour.
S110 of the CCA provides “Any person who unlawfully wears the uniform of forces, etc., not being a person serving in any of the armed forces of Nigeria, wears the uniform or any part of the uniform of such forces… is gulty of of an offence and is liable to imprisonment for one month or to a fine of ten naira, unless he proves that he had the permission of the president or of the governor of a State…”