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    Wednesday, March 13, 2013

    Soldiers Brutalise VIO Men In Lagos

    Some soldiers attached to the 242 Battalion, Iberoko along the Lagos-Badagry Expressway have been accused of brutalizing some Vehicle Inspection Officers in the area.
    We learnt that the incident occurred on February 27, 2013 when the officers were on duty.
    A senior VIO official, who spoke to our correspondent on the condition of anonymity, said the incident occurred while his men were attempting to arrest a bus.
    He added that the driver of the bus lost control and hit two soldiers.
    He said, “On that day, around 3pm, a Mercedes Benz Bus with registration number BB483FKJ, sighted our officers on duty and the bus driver manoeuvred across the median and drove against traffic in a bid to escape.
    “The vehicle lost control and hit a commercial motorcycle rider as well as two soldiers and they sustained injuries.”

    The source said the soldiers called their colleagues in the barracks, who stormed the area and beat up the VIO men.
    He said the soldiers seized both the VIO vehicle and the bus.
    He said, “After the accident, the soldiers’ colleagues arrived, they beat up the VIO men.”
    “Our patrol vehicle was vandalised and seized by the soldiers who then took them (vehicles) to the barracks.
    “It was later released to the Zonal Commander.”

    It was learnt that the brutalised VIO men, identified as Bajulaiye, Oyenekan and Paul, were later rushed to Badagry General Hospital by policemen.
    All efforts to contact the VIO boss, Abdulazeez Toriola, proved abortive, but a senior officer confirmed the incident to our correspondent and expressed disappointment that the government was doing nothing about the assault on its officials.

    He said, “The report has been sent to the Ministry of Transportation but nothing has been done about it. I don’t see anything coming out of it because soldiers usually get away with this sort of thing.”
    When contacted on the telephone, the spokesperson for the state police command, Ngozi Braide, said the VIO did not officially report the incident to the police.

    However, a senior police officer at Badagry Police Division said, “It was the owner of the bus that came to report at the station that his vehicle was seized by soldiers and that we should help get it back. The VIO did not make any official report at this station.”
    The Commissioner for Transportation, Kayode Opeifa, did not respond to a text message sent to his telephone.
    The spokesperson for the Army 81 Division, Colonel Kinglsey Umoh, said he was not aware of the incident but promised to get back to our correspondent. He was, however, unable to do so as at press time.

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