Chief of Army Staff, Provost Marshal ignore court order

Azubuike Ihejirika, a former Chief of Army Staff

The soldiers are now expected to testify before the court on October 10.

The Chief of Army Staff, Onyeabo Ihejirika, and the Provost Marshal of the Nigerian Army, Raphael Isa, Wednesday, ignored a court order asking them to appear before a Lagos coroner.

The coroner had at its previous sitting in August ordered that Mr. Ihejirika, and Mr. Isa, appear before it on Wednesday, to explain their roles in the killing of a man, Adewale Olupitan-Hassan.

According to court documents obtained by PREMIUM TIMES, both officers were served notices on August 24 at their Abuja offices.

The duo not only boycotted the court, they were not represented by lawyers either.

Reason for Invitation

Mr. Ihejirika and Mr. Isa are expected to testify in the ongoing inquest into the death of Olupitan-Hassan.

The deceased was allegedly attacked along Ikorodu road in Lagos by soldiers attached to Flag Staff House, Force Road. The soldiers, who were in a convoy, had claimed the victim broke the side mirror of one of their vehicles.

Mr. Olupitan-Hassan, who was driving a Toyota Camry on July 15th, the day of the incident, was rushed to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital where he died two weeks later.

At the inquest on Wednesday, the counsel to the deceased’s family, Ode Abah, told the coroner that witness summons had been served on both soldiers.

Family members of the deceased, a retired director at the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, were present.

Given another opportunity

The coroner, Tajudeen Elias, decided to give the two Army chiefs another opportunity to obey the order.

He advised that the summons be advertised in newspapers to achieve the maximum effect.

“We would advertise both the witness summons and the statement of oaths of the two witnesses,” Mr. Abah told journalists after the court sitting.

Several Nigerians have been victims of abuses by soldiers driving in convoy. The soldiers usually want road users to leave the road, when they are passing, even during traffic-jam.

The inquest was adjourned till October 10 when both men are expected to appear.

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