…extorts her over alleged traffic offence
A nursing mother, Esther Obiechina,has narrated how some Naval personnel at Uga junction, in Onitsha, Anambra State commercial nerve centre forced her to climb the pedestrian bridge at Uga Junction 30 times.
Obiechina who spoke to newsmen at a hospital, where she is recuperating when she lost her consciousness said that the Naval Personnel also confiscated her one thousand naira (N1000.00), being her transport fare back to her village in Ogbaru Local Government.and money to buy pap for her new baby.
The young lady said her problem started when she crossed the Express Road from the Bridgehead market side.
Two Naval personnel, she said, accosted her, asked her to give them five thousand naira (N5, 000.00) to live her but she told them that she doesn’t have such amount.
They then asked her to drop her handset and the N1,000.00 with them and climb the pedestrian bridge 30 times on Sunday 1st May 2022.
Unfortunately, when she finished the corporal punishment, she could not regain herself again as her entire system was disorganised and she fainted.
“In fact, I don’t know what was happening to me again. My entire body system started collapsing. In the next few minutes, I passed out” said the lady.
Even when she fainted, the Naval personnel were not bothered, rather they were mocking her, saying that after pretending she would stand up.
“I heard them when I started regaining consciousness. It was one of them who told them to stop mocking me that I was not pretending. He later returned my hand set without my one thousand naira” she narrated.
Unfortunately, when she regained consciousness, she demanded for the one thousand naira but they told her that the officer holding her money had left.
At that juncture, she was stranded as she has no other money and she alerted her boss over her plight, who encouraged her to manage to come to the office so that he would give her back transport money.
But when she got to the office she fainted again and she was rushed to St Cyprain Hospital, along Porthacourt Road, Fegge, Onitsha where she is currently recuperating.
Efforts to get the Commanding Officer, Odekpe Naval Post, Navy Commander Sani Abdurayi, failed as his handset was not going.
He did not also respond to texts sent to him over the development.
However, Human Rights Liberty Access and Peace Defenders Foundation (HURIDE) in a reaction called for immediate and total overhaul of the Iyiowa Odekpe Naval Post due to their atrocities against the citizens they supposed to protect
HURIDE Executive Director, Dede Uzor A Uzor, said there have been series of cases of abuse of citizens’ rights by the Naval Personnel at Uga Junction.
He said in the case of lady Obiechina who is a nursing mother, it was totally wrong and out of the rule of engagement of the military to inflict such harsh corporal punishment on an ordinary civilian, let alone a woman and a nursing mother for that matter.
He called on the leadership of Nigerian Navy to fish out the perpetrators of the heinous rights abuse to refund the one thousand naira they confiscated from lady Obiechina as well as make them face severe disciplinary measure.
There are glaring incidences of official corruption, extortion, intimidation and harsh human rights abuses by the Naval officers, immediately its 6.30pm,they would mount illegal roadblocks closing down the trunk A Onitsha/Asaba express high ways causing excruciating pains to the motorists, extorting money with impunity, what has Naval officers get to do with traffic control?
The Commander, Iyiowa Odekpe Naval officer should be removed to be sent to refresher causes to enable him be intune with democratic ideals. Dede Uzor advised.