The Ondo State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Adekola Olawoye, has called on the Nigerian Army to be fair and civil in its treatment of civilians.
He made the call while addressing the Brigade Commander of the 32 Artillery Brigade, Akure, James Ataguba, on Wednesday.
“I am appealing that the army should be civil in dealing with civilians whenever they err,” he said.
The commissioner pledged to forge cordiality between his ministry and the military formation in order to support the army in discharging its duties.
Mr. Olawoye commended the brigade’s efforts in providing adequate security in the state, saying that the ministry of justice would collaborate with the army towards checking acts of lawlessness including terrorism, ritual killings, kidnapping and the herdsmen attack in the state.
He said the Ministry of Justice had the responsibility to ensure the protection of lives within the ambits of the law, adding that some of the laws in the state were due for review.
In his remarks, Mr. Ataguba, a brigadier general, said that soldiers were not expected to brutalise the populace.
He also said people needed to properly understand and commend the constitutional role of the army in the society.
“Sometimes, there are misconceptions and misunderstandings of Nigerian Army’s vital roles,” Mr. Ataguba said.
“I should say this, that soldiers are not on roads to brutalise but to ensure that safety is guaranteed. But by this visit, we are glad that you will understand our operations and our roles.
“However, if you have any complaint over any of our men or on any security threat, you can reach us through our call centre: 09030002151 and 09030002161.
“We do have some of our personnel in mufti that checks on our personnel on the roads if they have erred because we do not condone any form of indiscipline in the brigade.”
He also urged the ministry of justice to “liaise with other security agencies to ensure that there is diligent prosecution so that criminals are not back on the street when they are arrested.”
“I crave your indulgence that cases are pushed to a logical conclusion and if there is any gap or review to be done, please do so, so that crime will not be persistent,” he said.