A 51-year-old woman was brutally beaten by soldiers and her vandalized because she obstructed traffic.
It was gathered that the show of power occurred at about 4pm on Monday, March 21, in front of the headquarters of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC).
Eyewitnsses report that an officer with the insignia of a Major, had emerged from the premises of the company and instructed the woman to reverse her vehicle in order to ease traffic on the narrow road.
However, the mother of six explained to the officer that she had initially allowed about five vehicles to go due to the indiscriminate parking of vehicles on the road.
An argument was said to have ensued between the soldier and Agboghide, with the army officer insisting that she must reverse her vehicle and get out of the way.
The major, who was said to have been angered by the woman's insistence on not moving, returned to the BEDC premises and later came back with some soldiers to be attached to the BEDC and allegedly ordered them to beat the woman up and the three soldiers descended on her and beat her blue black.
Not done, they went ahead to destroy her car, while telling her they would kill her and no one would ask them any question.
The victim who later spoke about the treatment she got from the soldiers, said:
“I went to Lagos Street to get some food items. So, I passed through Forestry Lane to the road beside former NEPA. As I was going, the driver of the vehicle in front of me and some traders around told me to stop. I stopped and about four vehicles passed. Later, the traders told me to go.
As I moved on, a soldier told me to reverse and I explained that I had waited for some vehicles to pass. But he said, ‘Do you know who you are talking to? Reverse!’ Before I knew it, he used his gun to hit my windscreen.
I came out and asked him what I had done and he said I should wait. He went into the BEDC premises and came out with some soldiers who descended on me.
He said they should clear me off the road. But as he tried to enter his vehicle, I pulled him and told him to pay for the damage done to my car.
As the man jumped inside his vehicle and tried to drive off, I hit his windscreen. He came down and damaged my windscreen and the rear screen.
Suddenly, he came out with a whip and beat me. The lady inside the vehicle also sprayed tear gas into my eyes.”
But the spokesman for the 4 Brigade Command of the Nigerian Army, Captain Jonah Unuakhalu, has come out to say the officer involved in the fracas is not in the Army, but an Airforce officer.
“He is a Nigerian Air Force officer. But we are investigating,” Unuakhalu said.