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Chidera Ejiri: How Soldiers Tortured Me In Aba On New Year's Day - Crime - Nairaland

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Chidera Ejiri: How Soldiers Tortured Me In Aba On New Year's Day by Nobody: 2:15am On Jan 29, 2020
In this interview with ENIOLA AKINKUOTU, a London-based businessman, Chidera Ejiri, speaks on the ordeal that he and his cousins recently had in the custody of the military authorities

You recently made a post on social media about how you and your cousins were brutalised by soldiers. Can you walk us through it?

On December 31, 2019, we were on our way back from a visit to my elder brother who had just had his traditional marriage in Abia State. We stopped briefly at a hotel known as City Global in Aba and just then, about four or five Hilux pickup vehicles loaded with heavily armed soldiers accosted us.

Did they ask questions?

If they had asked us to identify ourselves or state what we did for a living, it would have been a different case. They just told us to get into their vehicles. I sat in one of the vehicles, but the soldiers shouted that they meant we should sit down on the floor of the vehicle. Then they took us to their barracks at 144 Nigerian Army Battalion, Osisioma.

What happened next?

When we arrived at the barracks, the soldiers told us that we would be tortured. Then they asked us to lie down on the floor.

What offence did they say you committed?

They just said we disrespected them and went on to accuse us of being kidnappers. They said we should have shown them some respect, seeing that they were soldiers. I don’t know what they expected from us. Maybe they expected us to bow down before them.

They brought out big sticks and started beating us. Those sticks were so big that they had to use both hands to raise them. A bald, tall and dark Army captain supervised the beating.

I was slapped repeatedly by the captain and his men. The more I pleaded with them for mercy, the more I was tortured. They pointed their guns at us as if they were about to shoot us any moment.

What other forms of torture were you subjected to?

I sustained bruises so severe that I couldn’t even use my right arm for about two weeks. While they were beating us, one of the soldiers brought out a pair of scissors and tried to cut my beard. Another one raised my singlet up.

Are you saying you didn’t commit an offence nor break the law?

I am an entrepreneur based in the United Kingdom. I have no reason to break the law. I am an employer of labour. No one can accuse me of being a criminal.

Did you do anything to make the soldiers angry?

When they were questioning us and I spoke, they said ‘Oh, this one is from America’. They said they would torture me and give me a taste of the Nigerian experience in such a way that after the torture, I would be deported from the United Kingdom. It was very scary.

Can you describe the room where you were detained?

Yes, the room stank of urine and it crawled with centipedes. But based on my research, I found out that was where they tortured criminals. The chief officer for that location is also based there. If there is a need for investigation, the captain can easily be fished out.

At what time of the day did this happen?

It happened at night, around 10pm. And it was New Year’s Eve.

How many of you were arrested by the soldiers?

Three of us, my cousins and I, were arrested. One of my cousins suffered a permanent damage to his ear. He cannot hear with that ear till this moment. But I seems that I was the soldiers’ primary target. After flogging all of us, they came back a few minutes later and concentrated on me, flogging me again and again. They eventually tied us up and threw us into their prison.

How long were you in their custody?

We spent the night in their custody. They kept us till the following morning. From the information I gathered, the captain was on his way to somewhere else in the morning when he was called to release us. So, if my people didn’t intervene, we could have spent more than a day in their custody.

While you were there, did you meet other people who had had a similar experience?

Yes, I saw some people who had been detained illegally. They had handcuffs on their hands. They claimed the military had detained them for different reasons. Some of them had been there for up to four days. Some of these cases had to do with disagreements with civilians. If a person has a case with another person, it should be handled by the police. Why should the army detain a civilian for more than 24 hours? I cannot understand this.

How did your relatives find out that you were arrested and detained?

There were witnesses who saw the way we were arrested and bundled into the soldiers waiting vehicles like criminals. When my relatives were searching for us, some people told them what happened. What I know was that in the morning, my mum and a few people came to the barracks and got us released. My only concern at the time was to get home safely.

Do you know the name of the Army captain that perpetrated this act?

Yes. His name is Captain Ilia Mohammed Sani. But then the chief officer for that location also knows every other person involved. The soldiers were led by this captain. The military authorities can easily find out who did this. The culprits can be easily fished out.

Did your people have to secure your freedom with a bribe?

Yes, from my knowledge, about N50,000 ($138) was paid to secure our release.

Will you go back to Aba after this experience?

I really don’t know. My plan is to leave Nigeria as soon as possible. Honestly, I have been traumatised and such things are not good for the image of this country.

The fact that the captain looked at me and said, “Where you come from, there are human rights. Here in Nigeria, there are no human rights”, made it more scary. I know the army is a disciplined institution.

A part of me says the leadership of the Nigerian Army will not endorse this kind of behaviour from its rank and file. I strongly believe they will not support the way we have been treated.

Has any apology been tendered to you since your ordeal?

No apology has been tendered to me. In fact, we were made to apologise to the soldiers instead.

What for?

The following morning, when we were about to be released from detention, the captain told my people that I waved my clothes at their convoy. I couldn’t imagine myself doing that, even if I was drunk or had gone crazy. But that was the story the soldiers cooked up. Come to think of it, even if I had done that, what justifies grabbing a full grown man, branding him a criminal, taking him to your den and traumatising him? What justifies such an action?

Have you taken any legal action against them?

I have been receiving messages and advice from people, asking me to take legal action, but I have been too traumatised to do anything. I still find it difficult to sleep at night because images of soldiers torturing me and my cousins still run in my head.

How are your cousins?

Well, one of them has suffered a damage to an ear and he cannot hear with it anymore. I mean, when men that are trained to fight insurgency turn to use the same force on normal civilians, who have done nothing wrong, such injuries are inevitable.

Did they return all your personal effects to you?

They took our wallets and two cell phones. But one of the phones was damaged, while they returned the other intact when we were released from detention.

Did the people you spoke to narrate similar experiences in the hands of soldiers?

Most residents of Aba don’t talk about such incidents. In fact, when I was released, everyone asked me not to talk about my experience. It seems like normal thing for residents of Aba. I had heard of similar incidents myself, but I never knew it was this bad. Imagine that a captain, who should embody discipline, could perpetrate such an act.

https://punchng.com/how-soldiers-tortured-me-on-new-years-day-british-nigerian

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Re: Chidera Ejiri: How Soldiers Tortured Me In Aba On New Year's Day by Nobody: 2:20am On Jan 29, 2020
Frontpage

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Re: Chidera Ejiri: How Soldiers Tortured Me In Aba On New Year's Day by KINGwax007(m): 3:38am On Jan 29, 2020
Ok.. wetin make we do? Make we go help u fight them?

6 Likes 3 Shares

Re: Chidera Ejiri: How Soldiers Tortured Me In Aba On New Year's Day by Nobody: 3:43am On Jan 29, 2020
KINGwax007:
Ok.. wetin make we do? Make we go help u fight them?
This is the reason some Nigerians abroad never want to return home and choose to remain in exile.

231 Likes 15 Shares

Re: Chidera Ejiri: How Soldiers Tortured Me In Aba On New Year's Day by ursullalinda(f): 4:11am On Jan 29, 2020
Sorry bro.....but the soldier man was being sincere with you.....we live in a shithole and don't know what human right means......the things that happen here especially in this regime is unimaginable and it really hurts ....... but now you have had the experience first hand......you will help us tell the world about our sympathetic situation.......So sorry once again.

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Re: Chidera Ejiri: How Soldiers Tortured Me In Aba On New Year's Day by atmstyle: 4:22am On Jan 29, 2020
Sorry Bro, but if you know you and your cousins didn't do bad, why don't you report the issue to the Nigerian Army Human Rights Desk? You can get their contacts in this link.

Not all military officers are bad. Sorry for your experience if it is accurate.

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Re: Chidera Ejiri: How Soldiers Tortured Me In Aba On New Year's Day by Inspectorsuga22(m): 4:41am On Jan 29, 2020
Shithole country indeed...
Nigerian army n thier thirst for brutalizing innocent civilians didn't start today buh this regime practically added more power to thier elbow...
Useless cowards that pee themselves at the sight of insurgents buh won't fail to form Rambo on innocent civilians...

46 Likes 5 Shares

Re: Chidera Ejiri: How Soldiers Tortured Me In Aba On New Year's Day by Nobody: 4:43am On Jan 29, 2020
atmstyle:
Sorry Bro, but if you know you and your cousins didn't do bad, why don't you report the issue to the Nigerian Army Human Rights Desk? You can get their contacts here.

Not all military officers are bad. Sorry for your experience if it is accurate.
Where can you find the good ones?

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Re: Chidera Ejiri: How Soldiers Tortured Me In Aba On New Year's Day by SOFTENGR: 5:39am On Jan 29, 2020
You better stay in UK.
Don't come to this jungle gain.

15 Likes 2 Shares

Re: Chidera Ejiri: How Soldiers Tortured Me In Aba On New Year's Day by Hedonisst: 5:52am On Jan 29, 2020
Bloody cowards in uniform. Every other day, Boko Haram attacks them in their bases and the ones that manage to survive all run away, leaving their arms and ammunition behind for the Boko boys to cart away.

Yet when they see unarmed and harmless civilians, they always like to form Rambo. Does that make sense? I don't know the kind of orientation these idiots receive.

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Re: Chidera Ejiri: How Soldiers Tortured Me In Aba On New Year's Day by Nobody: 6:21am On Jan 29, 2020
SOFTENGR:
You better stay in UK.
Don't come to this jungle gain.

6 Likes 1 Share

Re: Chidera Ejiri: How Soldiers Tortured Me In Aba On New Year's Day by Nobody: 6:45am On Jan 29, 2020
SOFTENGR:
You better stay in UK.
Don't come to this jungle gain.
He learnt the hard way.

1 Like

Re: Chidera Ejiri: How Soldiers Tortured Me In Aba On New Year's Day by Arrewa: 10:55am On Jan 29, 2020
Mpa nnukwu!
That's Nigeria for you... We are just supposed to be recolonized

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Re: Chidera Ejiri: How Soldiers Tortured Me In Aba On New Year's Day by mustbewell: 10:55am On Jan 29, 2020
Thank God you are still alive.
Re: Chidera Ejiri: How Soldiers Tortured Me In Aba On New Year's Day by MANNABBQGRILLS: 10:56am On Jan 29, 2020
When we arrived at the barracks, the soldiers told us that we would be tortured. Then they asked us to lie down on the floor.

What offence did they say you committed?

They just said we disrespected them and went on to accuse us of being kidnappers. They said we should have shown them some respect, seeing that they were soldiers. I don’t know what they expected from us. Maybe they expected us to bow down before them.
Very sad story.
They should simply get a good lawyer.
Some soldiers actually think they are gods!

13 Likes 3 Shares

Re: Chidera Ejiri: How Soldiers Tortured Me In Aba On New Year's Day by Nobody: 10:57am On Jan 29, 2020
Damn niggarr, be a real niggarr

Those people are supppse to be in the north fighting boko haram niggarrs but choose to chase legit niggarrs like you.

Leave this shithole and never come back niggarr.
Re: Chidera Ejiri: How Soldiers Tortured Me In Aba On New Year's Day by Sirlins(m): 10:58am On Jan 29, 2020
If you know the kind of suffering our soldiers are facing this time ohhh, you wouldn't want to tamper with them. Respect yourself and pray for them

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Re: Chidera Ejiri: How Soldiers Tortured Me In Aba On New Year's Day by four4prax: 10:58am On Jan 29, 2020
so sorry
Re: Chidera Ejiri: How Soldiers Tortured Me In Aba On New Year's Day by brexit: 10:59am On Jan 29, 2020
Our soldiers show their strength when they see civilians but a single terrorist can bring 100 of them down in a second, what a show of shame and naivety

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Re: Chidera Ejiri: How Soldiers Tortured Me In Aba On New Year's Day by anonimi: 11:00am On Jan 29, 2020
KINGwax007:
Ok.. wetin make we do? Make we go help u fight them?

No, simply continue your shuffering and shmiling existence doing kaya for the public servants who should be working for you.
You too smart, aswear.

www.nairaland.com/attachments/10366256_fbimg15699322785078208_jpeg4e319015851eb39a86c5ddcaacd69a75

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Re: Chidera Ejiri: How Soldiers Tortured Me In Aba On New Year's Day by realstars: 11:00am On Jan 29, 2020
Fish will never know that humans uses two types of water, until it has a test of it..
Welcome to Nigeria, a land of lawlessness.

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Re: Chidera Ejiri: How Soldiers Tortured Me In Aba On New Year's Day by osuofia2(m): 11:00am On Jan 29, 2020
NA has lost their respect, The Navy and Nigerian Airforce na dem be the koko, if Nigeria Army hear Boko haram dem go run hide

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Re: Chidera Ejiri: How Soldiers Tortured Me In Aba On New Year's Day by Renforce: 11:01am On Jan 29, 2020
Hmmm! Don't you just wish that he's exaggerating? God help us
Re: Chidera Ejiri: How Soldiers Tortured Me In Aba On New Year's Day by StupidNLmods: 11:01am On Jan 29, 2020
Yes. His name is Captain Ilia Mohammed Sani

I knew the captain must be a northerner.. Those people are very heartless. The zoo govt keeps sending them down south, especially the south east. While they send the southerners to the north to fight boko haram. If we talk, animalistic afonjas and their masters will be shouting "ipob are terrorists". I wish ipob can become a terrorist indeed, this zoo go suffer am i swear!

49 Likes 4 Shares

Re: Chidera Ejiri: How Soldiers Tortured Me In Aba On New Year's Day by anonimi: 11:02am On Jan 29, 2020
Inspectorsuga22:
Shithole country indeed...
Nigerian army n thier thirst for brutalizing innocent civilians didn't start today buh this regime practically added more power to thier elbow...
Useless cowards that pee themselves at the sight of insurgents buh won't fail to form Rambo on innocent civilians...

If the Buharideenis catch you angry grin

1 Like

Re: Chidera Ejiri: How Soldiers Tortured Me In Aba On New Year's Day by Viking007(m): 11:02am On Jan 29, 2020
You're not the first neither will you be the last. Nigeria is just one hopeless jungle. Nothing will happen to those criminals in uniform. No wonder they get killed like chickens in Borno state.


atmstyle:
Sorry Bro, but if you know you and your cousins didn't do bad, why don't you report the issue to the Nigerian Army Human Rights Desk? You can get their contacts in this link.

Not all military officers are bad. Sorry for your experience if it is accurate.
You are sorry if its accurate and if they didn't do bad? What kind of offense would warrant such brutality? The same soldiers are feeding repentant BHT in Borno with Lucozade boost and groundnut. Ridiculous country. cheesy

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Re: Chidera Ejiri: How Soldiers Tortured Me In Aba On New Year's Day by ignis: 11:04am On Jan 29, 2020
When Trump calls us shithole, we will start grumbling

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Re: Chidera Ejiri: How Soldiers Tortured Me In Aba On New Year's Day by KINGwax007(m): 11:04am On Jan 29, 2020
RuudVanNisteroy:

This is the reason some Nigerians abroad never want to return home and choose to remain in exile.
wetin be their usefulness being here jare?

1 Like

Re: Chidera Ejiri: How Soldiers Tortured Me In Aba On New Year's Day by KINGwax007(m): 11:06am On Jan 29, 2020
anonimi:


No, simply continue your shuffering and shmiling existence doing kaya for the public servants who should be working for you.
You too smart, aswear.

www.nairaland.com/attachments/10366256_fbimg15699322785078208_jpeg4e319015851eb39a86c5ddcaacd69a75
why u no go barrack go start revolution? They're not working for me, they won't be. But like I said, start a revolution na. U fit ask sowore for guideline

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