Nigerian army officer ‘found dead’ in Abuja

Nigerian troopsused to illustrate the story. [PHOTO CREDIT: The Guardian Nigeria]
Nigerian troops used to illustrate the story. [PHOTO CREDIT: The Guardian Nigeria]

A newly-commissioned Nigerian Army officer has been found dead in Abuja.

The body of VL Henry, a second lieutenant, was found beside Mabushi Bridge inwards Utako at about 8.40 a.m. on Tuesday morning, military sources said.

The deceased was found with his military identity card and severe cuts and bruises to his head, sources said.

Army and police spokespersons did not return requests for comments from PREMIUM TIMES, Calls and text messages to military spokespersons were not answered.

But officials who spoke under anonymity because they were not authorised to the media told PREMIUM TIMES that the death was being officially treated as a homicide that might have occurred due to an altercation between the officer and unknown persons or an attack from violent criminals overnight.

Mr Henry’s death came barely a few days after he completed an amphibious course in Calabar on October 18.

He had been serving at the Nigerian Army 3 Division Provost Group in Jos. His remains had been unloaded at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada, sources said. It was unclear whether notification of next of kin has been completed, as per military policy.

Confusion

Meanwhile, senior military officers are baffled that Mr Henry’s death occurred just between Mabushi Bridge and Utako, an upscale area within the Abuja city centre.

As investigation into Mr Henry’s death continues, the military has circulated an advisory to personnel around Abuja to be careful about their movement and avoid moving alone unless absolutely necessary.

The tragedy has compounded the acute insecurity across Abuja, as violent criminals around the capital city continue to be emboldened by inadequate security measures and intelligence gathering.

Once amongst Africa’s safest cities, Abuja has recently become a haven for both petty and dreaded criminals who feast on hapless and often unwary citizens with little or no hindrance from law enforcement authorities.

Motorists are being regularly robbed at gunpoint by traffic lights, bags are being violently snatched from women using the sidewalks and a vehicle parked unattended could be broken into for its valuable contents or stolen outright within minutes.

Kidnappers have also infiltrated the city, wantonly abducting residents for ransom.

Late last month, nine persons, including civil defence officers, were abducted in a deadly attack in the federal capital.

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Despite criminal activities in the capital being worse than in other less-protected parts of the country, the police often ward off residents’ complaints about the crisis by claiming that the city is now more secure than it has ever been.

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