‘It’s A Lie, We Did Not Torture Christian Ehime To Death’.
That is the clarification from the Nigerian Army while while stating its position on the recent death of the above named in Benin.
The army said the clarification had become necessary following reports in the social media alleging that its troops tortured one Christian Ehima to death in Edo.
In a statement in Abuja today denying the allegation of torture of the deceased, the Director, Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu, asserted that the Nigerian army as a professional force had utmost respect for the sanctity of human life and zero tolerance for infringement on the rights of citizens.
According to him, while the Nigerian army sympathises with Ehima’s family over the unfortunate incident, he discountenanced the allegations of torture by the army as reason for his death.
Nwachukwu held that what happened was that Ehima , who had no clothes on, wandered into a military checkpoint at Igbanke in Benin on Dec. 10 whereby he was halted by soldiers on duty.
Upon interrogation, he could not respond intelligibly as per his mission, Nwachukwu making the guards to request for his phone intending to use same to contact any of his relations, friends or associates.
According to him, a call came through to Ehima’s phone shortly after and the caller identified herself as his mother and she was invited to pick up her son, who was still very agitated and unstable.
According to him, the mother arrived at the scene and identified herself as a police officer and was briefed about her son’s observed abnormal behaviour.
“On sighting his mother, his behaviour became aggravated.
“Thereafter, some passers-by were mobilised to help her take him to the hospital.
“In her conversation with the soldiers, she attributed her son’s weird behaviour to influence of alcohol, but soldiers present maintained that whatever was responsible for Ehima’s behaviour at that time was way beyond alcohol.
“It is also important to state that the incident was recorded both on video and audio, showing the behaviour of Christian Ehima and his mother commending the soldiers for their kind intervention.
“The evidence, including audio recordings of the police officer and her son are attached.
“Surprisingly, this unfortunate incident has been falsely reported in the social media without recourse to the reality of what transpired on the said date,’’ he stated.
Nwachukwu held that insinuations of torture of Ehima were unfounded and should be disregarded.
-We Did Not Torture Christian Ehime To Death-