Army reacts to video of ‘soldiers’ torturing, mutilating suspect

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Soldiers on routine patrol

The Nigerian Army has said that men in military fatigues shown in a viral video assaulting an individual are not its personnel.

Director of Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu disclosed this in a Monday statement.

The statement titled, ‘Re: Video of soldiers mutilating a suspect,’ read, “The Nigerian Army has been notified of an online video footage making the rounds in the social media, showing some persons in military fatigue torturing and mutilating an individual.

“The video footage is not only capable of deceiving unsuspecting members of the public into believing that the men in the footage are members of the Army engaged in the ongoing counter-insurgency operations in the North East, but a deliberate effort to promote a culture of violence in the society by creating an erroneous impression that it is a legitimate action by troops.

“It is, therefore, crucial to refute and properly inform the public on the said footage.

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“Preliminary investigations reveal that the said footage has been on the social media for quite a long time and is not originated by troops of the Nigerian Army.

“Very importantly, the uniform of NA troops deployed in the North East is the Nigerian Desert Camouflage, while that of other operations around the country is the Nigerian Woodland Camouflage. Evidently, the military fatigue worn by the criminals is a far variation from the uniforms adorned by our own troops in the various theatres of operation.

“The Nigerian Army, therefore, wishes to clearly inform the general public that the video being circulated does not have any connection with its operations. Those in the footage are not troops of the NA and do not represent any operation of the NA. The video is circulated by mischievous elements aiming to tarnish the good image and reputation of the NA, in order to create mistrust in the minds of the public.

“It must be reiterated that as a responsible organisation, the NA conducts its operational activities in line with extant rules of engagement and respect for fundamental human rights.

“The NA, therefore, wishes to distance itself from the outrageous video and reassures the public that the NA under the leadership of the Chief of Army Staff, Major General Faruk Yahaya, will continue to discharge its roles of securing the territorial integrity of the nation and aid to civil authority professionally and in consonance with extant laws and international best practice.”

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John is a University of Lagos-trained journalist who has read almost every novel written by Chinua Achebe, Jeffrey Archer and Dan Brown. He's an expert Scrabble and draughts player who is also excellent at swimming.
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