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A female commissioned Nigerian Army officer, has been arrested by the Military Police after maltreating a lady member of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) member in video that went viral.
The officer, Lieutenant Chika Viola Anele was caught on camera punishing the NYSC member, Ms. Ezeiruaku Ifeyinwa Fidelia in Cross River State after an alleged argument between them.
Agba Jalingo, a human rights activist and Nigerian journalist had shared the video on his Facebook page showing the officer pouring an unknown white substance on the kneeling corps member after which she hit her with a bowl.
Posted Jalingo: “JusticeForIfenyinwa. This is what a commissioned female Army officer, Lt. Chika Viola Anele, did to a youth corps member, Ezeiruaku Ifeyinwa Fidelia, serving at the 13 Brigade headquarters in Calabar after having an argument.
“We understand that the leadership in 13 Brigade are working to kill the matter. Let us make the officer very popular for all the wrong reasons.
“Share the video until it gets to the Chief of Army Staff and that Chika girl is brought to book”.
The less than one minute video, also shows heavily drenched Corps member trying to remove the muddy particles in the liquid substance from her body.
The video clip has continued to provoke outrage on social media, with many Nigerians calling for the prosecution of the soldier using the hashtag #JusticeForIfenyinwa.
Reacting to the matter, the army condemned the action of its official in the viral clip, describing such as “unprofessional”.
In a statement on Thursday by Brig. Gen. Onyema Nwachuku, its spokesman, the army said the soldier’s action did not reflect its principles, adding that the officer involved had been identified and sanctioned.
Onyema said also that she would be tried in line with the extant provisions of the Armed Forces Act.
Read the statement: “The Nigerian Army (NA) has taken cognizance of a video clip currently making the rounds on the social media, where a female officer was seen dehumanising a member of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in Calabar, Cross River State.
“This act is not only condemnable, but unprofessional and against established precepts of discipline in the NA. The NA has remained undoubtedly the pride of the nation, a symbol of national unity that has consistently been in the vanguard of respect for the fundamental human rights of the citizenry.
“It is against this premise that the NA condemns this unimaginable level of infraction by a personnel in its ranks. The NA therefore, condemns in strong terms, this act of gross misconduct. Undoubtedly, the officer’s action has caused the NA monumental embarrassment and is highly regrettable.
“This unfortunate act of indiscipline does not in anyway represent the NA and will not be condoned in its entirety. For the records, the ugly incident happened in 13 Brigade, Calabar. The Brigade Commander immediately instituted an investigation and the officer involved has been identified and sanctioned on the interim and would be made to undergo regimental orders (trial) in line with the extant provisions of the Armed Forces Act”.
The army also dismissed claims in some quarters that it was attempting to cover up the incident.
Added the statement: “The submission that the Brigade attempted covering up was therefore misleading, as the NA remains a professional force that has zero tolerance for indiscipline amongst its personnel”.
“The NA wishes to reiterate and assure the general public that such infractions would not be tolerated from its personnel. The NA also reassures that the right of the citizenry is sacrosanct and must be respected by all personnel of the NA, as any form of infraction will be severely dealt with.
“Therefore, the general public is enjoined to continue to report such infractions, as Human Rights Desks in all formations of the NA are emplaced to deal decisively with such erring personnel.
“The NA further wishes to tender unreserved apology to the victim, her family members, friends, National Youth Service Corps and to Nigerians in general for the unwholesome treatment meted out to the corps member”.