The Nigerian Army yesterday described as false and misleading, reports on social media alleging that troops recently tortured one Christian Ehima to death.
The director, army public relations, Brig. Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, in a statement, said the army being a professional force had utmost respect for the sanctity of human life and zero tolerance for infringement on the rights of the citizenry.
He said though the army sympathised with the family of late Christian over the unfortunate incident, it was instructive to put the records straight contrary to the misgivings peddled on social media.
“Incontrovertible evidence indicate that Christian Ehima wandered into a military check point at Wire – Ake in Edo State on December 10, 2021 without his clothes on, and was halted by soldiers on duty.
“He was interrogated but could not say anything meaningful on where he was coming from or heading. His behaviour was rather weird and indicative of one who was obviously under some sort of influence. The guard commander, who observed his abnormal behavior, immediately requested for his phone in an effort to contact any of his relations, friends or associates. Shortly afterwards, a call came through to his phone and the caller identified herself as his mother. The soldier invited her to pick up her son, who was still very agitated and unstable.
“Subsequently, the woman arrived the scene and identified herself as his mother and a police officer. She was briefed about her son’s observed abnormal behaviour. In her conversation with the soldiers, she attributed her son’s weird behaviour to influence of alcohol. The soldiers however, maintained, that whatever was responsible for Christian’s behaviour at that time, was way beyond alcoholism. On sighting his mother his behavior aggravated. Thereafter, some passerby were mobilized to help her take him to the hospital.
“It is also important to state that the incident was recorded both on video and audio, showing the behaviour of Christian Ehima and his mother commending the soldiers for their kind intervention.
“Surprisingly, this unfortunate incident has been falsely reported in the social media without recourse to the reality of what transpired on the said date,” he said
He urged the general public to disregard the misguided information, saying it was clearly manipulative and evidently an attempt to bring disrepute to the Nigerian Army.