The Oasis Reporters
October 15, 2018
By Moses Gbande, Jos
Counsel to a victim of military operations, who is also the Punch Newspaper Correspondent in Jos, Mr. Friday Olokor has written to the Nigerian Army, Force Headquarters, demanding for a public apology and N50m compensation for unlawful detention and molestation of his client.
Bar. Olisa John Tochukwu of
E. H. Ugochukwu Chambers, in a letter dated 10th October, 2018, addressed to the Chief of Army Staff, the Nigerian Army, Plot 1092, Muhammadu Buhari Way,
Area 7, Garki, Abuja.
In the letter titled “Case of unlawful arrest, grievous assault, inhuman and degrading treatment of Friday Olokor of the Punch Newspapers by soldiers under your command led by captain Rabiu of 3 division, Nigerian army, said they were constrained to write on the instruction of Friday Olokor.
“Our Client is a seasoned Journalist and Senior Correspondent with Punch Newspapers authorized to cover the Nigerian Army and it’s activities.
“Our brief revealed that on Saturday, October 6, 2018, our client received a statement from the Nigerian Army through Col. Kayode Ogunsanya, then decided to immediately work on it and dispatch to his employers while taking his dinner at Anne Breeze Restaurant, Rayfield Area, Jos, Plateau State.
“Our client arrived at the restaurant before 9:pm but while working on the statement and waiting for his dinner to be served, three truckloads of Soldiers fully masked led by one Captain Rabiu invaded the area, arrested our client and many others without giving our client any reason for the arrest. Our client promptly identified himself as a journalist but was ignored.
“Our client was informed that the SPECIAL SQUAD from Maiduguri was deployed by you for his arrest.
“He was later taken to the 3 Division of the Nigerian Army Headquarters in Rukuba Barracks, Jos, and kept in an uncompleted building where ALL HIS BELONGINGS were confiscated and he was held incommunicado.
“His plea to be allowed to communicate with his family or his editors was refused as the soldiers threatened to waste him if he does not keep quiet.
“Our client was kept in the most dehumanizing condition with more than 30 other persons and made to urinate or pass faeces in the same room.
“The next day, he was interviewed more than 5 times by Military police officers who kept him under constant watch. Several photos of his were taken as well as his house address.
“It took the intervention of Col. Kayode Ogunsanya, the Deputy Director of Army Public Relations in 3 Division of the Army, who sent him the press statement to work on, before he was released.
“Based on the above stated facts, we demand as follows:
“A written unreserved apology for the treatment meted to our client.
Immediate payment of the sum of N50,000,000(Fifty Million Niara) as compensation for the assault, humiliation and inhumane treatment.
“TAKE NOTICE that if you fail or neglect to heed the above stated demand within 48 (Forty Eight) Hours from the time of receipt of this letter, we shall immediately commence cogent legal action against you and your agents.
We hope to hear from you soon”