Another case of official brutality has been witnessed in Lagos as a soldier almost beat a bus driver to death.
Another case of brutality by a uniformed man has been recorded in Lagos State when a soldier, identified by his name tag as Emmanuel B.J., almost beat a 'Danfo' bus driver, Moshood Olaniyi, to death for allegedly sneering at him.
The incident which happened at the Ojodu-Berger Motor Park in the state, according to witnesses, happened on Wednesday, February 17, when the soldier dragged the driver out of his bus and used his horse whip to flog him mercilessly as well as using his fists to pounce on the hapless man.
Witnesses said when asked on why he should beat the driver who is an elderly man, Emmanuel retorted that the man had been insolent to him, threatening to kill him and that no one would query him.
He reportedly screamed while brutalising the man:
“Who does he think he is? I will kill him and nobody will query me. I have killed many people who are older than this idiot (Olaniyi) in the past and nobody queried me for that.
The idiot attempted to hit me while reversing his vehicle and when I asked him why, he just sneered at me. If at all he is older than me, I don’t care. I will do to him what he will never forget for the rest of his life.”
Emmanuel allegedly dragged Olaniyi to the park of commercial motorcycle operators, a distance of about 50 metres, before he released him after much pleading that lasted for about 45 minutes by eyewitnesses and other motorists.
It was said that when the soldier released Olaniyi, he could hardly walk by himself and could not talk as his mouth was swollen from the beating he received.
One of the witnesses, who identified himself simply as Festus, said the beating was too much, adding that he did not expect that Olaniyi could still stand on his feet after the soldier released him.
“I did not know the cause of the disagreement between Olaniyi and the soldier, but from what I saw, Olaniyi was sitting in his vehicle when the soldier started beating him. I didn’t know whether Olaniyi sneered at the soldier or not.”
Reacting to the alleged assault when contacted, the spokesperson for 82 Division, Nigerian Army, Lagos, Col. Kingsley Samuel, said he was yet to confirm the identity of the soldier, but promised to investigate the assault.
“We don’t know the identity of the soldier. Lagos is a big community; anybody can put on army uniform and impersonate being a soldier. We have had cases of impersonation before, but if any personnel of the organisation I work with commits a crime of that nature, the person will be dealt with.
We have to find out if Emmanuel is a genuine soldier who is not impersonating. This is one of the things we will investigate. And if he is a soldier, we will find out the unit he belongs to. But I assure you that we will do our investigation.”