Ebonyi governor wants soldiers sacked, prosecuted for attacking physically-challenged man

Chijioke Oratu

The punishment meted by the Nigerian Army on two errant soldiers is inadequate and should have been more stringent, a state governor has said.

The Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, has demanded the immediate sack and prosecution of the two soldiers who assaulted a physically-challenged man, Chijioke Oratu.

The governor donated N500,000 to the victim to aid his recovery and rehabilitation and promised to empower him by setting up a business for him.

Chijioke Oratu, crippled in both legs, was viciously beaten and kicked by two armed soldiers after being dragged off his wheel chair, as shocked onlookers stood by helplessly.

The video of the attack, apparently captured by a bystander, went viral on social media, sparking outrage.

The Nigerian Army announced on Friday that the assailants had been identified and arrested.

Spokesperson Sani Usman, a Brigadier General, said in a statement the culprits, Bature Samuel and Abdulazeez Usman, who were both corporals, had been demoted to privates and imprisoned for 21 days with hard labour.

They are to also forfeit their pay for the 21 days.

But Mr. Umahi, who received the victim at the executive chambers of the government house at Abakaliki on Tuesday, said the punishment was not commiserate with the soldiers’ offence.

The governor said the state government will write a petition to army authorities demanding the immediate sack and prosecution of the two soldiers.

Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi
Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi

“Let me highly commend the Chief of Staff and the GOC of 82 Division for their quick and humanly intervention. In our society we have different sectors of our engagement, the judges or lawyers are not the most important, neither are the doctors, police, soldiers or politicians,” he said.

“The combination of all will make the society that is progressive. And I believe in a society where the right of one stops the right of the other begins. I commend the governor of Anambra state who reacted immediately and sought to rehabilitate this young man before we came in and took over.

“We commend the Chief of Army Staff on the disciplinary actions taken on those men but we believe that 21 days imprisonment is not enough, they didn’t behave like human beings and to be demoted is not enough.

“I suggest to them that those soldiers should be sacked and not demoted. We shall write a petition which I will personally submit to the Chief of Army staff demanding the sack and prosecution of the soldiers who attacked him.”

The governor also directed his Senior Special Adviser on Welfare and Religious matters to liaise with the victim and his family on the best way to resettle him.

The governor also announced the release of relief funds and packages worth over N30 million to the people of Azuoffia-Edda community who were allegedly attacked by neighbouring communities in Cross River State.

He also directed the provision of mosquito nets to the victims and digging of two boreholes at their refugee camp located at Azuoffia-Edda primary school.


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  • visionary.

    after the 21 days imprisonment they should be posted to sambisa let them put their fighting skills to good use.

    • sunday

      Good but I guess they will resign at that stage

      • VERITAS_ the rock of ages_

        Lol. You know them well.

      • El Patron

        In the military you cant resign because you were posted to war front. Resignation wont be accepted, and if you refuse to go they will arrest you and court martial you for desertation. i fully support @disqus_uAlwgKvXGl:disqus They should be sent to sambisa forest

  • thusspokez

    The governor [Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi ]also directed his Senior Special Adviser on Welfare and Religious matters to liaise with the victim and his family on the best way to resettle him.

    I welcome the Ebonyi State governor helping hands but I don’t understand why he, and not the Anambra state governor?

    The video shows the poor chap beaten in Onitsha. Is Onitsha not in Anambra state? If so, why is it not the Anambra state governor, instead of the Ebonyi state standing up for the poor victim. Is there something I am not getting? Someone, please enlighten me.

    • Otile

      Your question is wrong headed. Your treachery will not work. You want those two Igbo brothers to be at each others throat. Instead of finding fault with the vandal soldiers sent by your fulani masters to oppress Igbo people you find it convenient to deceitfully blame an Igbo governor. If nothing, the Federal government should take care of the victim. Are you not praising them for helping the victims of Boko Haram, or have you condemned the state governors over there for not rehabilitating the boko victims? Traitor

  • Dazmillion

    Shouldnt the national assembly enact a law against military brutality on civilians

    • thusspokez

      …the national assembly…

      Why the national assembly? There already exist enough laws for the pusillanimous Nigerian police to arrest and prosecute the soldiers. The frequent mistakes a lot of Nigerians make is to target their criticisms at the wrong institutions and people.

      Even the army service act below empowers the Nigerian police to arrest and prosecute service personnel who commits crimes.

      99. Obstruction of police officer arresting service person

      A person subject to service law under this Act who at any place either within or outside
      Nigeria prevents or obstructs-

      (a) the execution by a police officer of a warrant for the arrest of a person subject to service
      law under this Act who has committed or is suspected of having committed an offence
      punishable on conviction by a civil court; or

      (b) the arrest of a person subject to service law under this Act by a police officer acting in the
      exercise of his powers of arrest without warrant,is guilty of an offence under this section and liable, on conviction by a court-martial, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or any less punishment provided by this Act.

      As GEJ recently said, Nigeria needs strong institutions. They are all weak, not because they don’t have the powers but because of the mediocre and cowards (like Ibraham Idris) who head them, weaken these institutions.

  • Mr Oraku should file a lawsuit for his civil rights violations and demand 400 millions naira in punitive damages against these 2 hoodlums and the Nigerian Army.

  • GusO

    So much political theatre by the governor! It’s great that he has offered him 500k naira but I’m not sure about setting up business for him. The state funds are not his personal funds to milk for political effect. Abia State indigenes should be consulted. When soldiers commit offences, they are court marshalled. They do not face civilian courts. To the extent that the beating of the lame gentleman did not cause serious injuries, I think demotion of the soldiers and jailing them for 21 days is good enough. They will earn less and it will serve as a lesson to other soldiers contemplating harassing civilians.

    • So oju abe niko

      In any sane society, not only will the soldiers be sacked, they will also face criminal prosecution for assault and would have ended up in jail.

    • Elle4change

      You are a bitter, self absorbed and heartless hypocrite, if you or any member of your family had been treated in such a manner you would have been screaming foul from the mountain tops, demanding the heads of the military men and expecting millions in compensation. Now you are begrudging this very unfortunate individual 500k and the possibility of the setting up of a business for him. Who told you the Governor gave the funds from the state funds, are you the now the state Commissioner for Finance? And you have the gull to say the very measly punishment meted out to those beasts is “good enough”, when they should have been court-martialed and dismissed, especially in this country where men in uniform constantly and openly abuse their power with impunity and mostly get away with it or get a slap on the wrist. People like you are the cancer in our society today, hypocrites who only see injustice when it happens to them. Shame on you!