By Ogbolu George
Recently, a video of some army officers beating up a physically-challenged man for putting on camo pants went viral on social media and news outlets across Nigeria.
This was not a one-off incident as there have been regular reports of cases of officers of the Nigerian military pummelling civilians for putting on what they term army’s uniforms.
The impunity with which these acts are carried out raises questions about the (il)legality of the actions of the military officers.
Efforts to reach the Director, Army Public Relation proved abortive as his phone was not going through as at the time of filing of this report.
However, a legal practitioner, Barrister Nsofor John Paul, strongly criticised the military’s actions, saying it is a case of ‘my people perish for the lack of knowledge’.
He said: ”It is an infringement on the rights of the citizens enshrined in Chapter 4 of the Nigerian Constitution.
”The best option would have been for the military men to arrest the physically-challenged man, instead of beating him up”.
According to him, it is only in Nigeria that people’s lives are illegally put under threat by those who are supposed to protect them.
Barrister John Paul also said people suffer in silence because they are not aware of their rights.
He said that those who have suffered from such brutality should seek legal redress as no such treatment should be allowed to fester in the county.