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How soldier tortured, stabbed me in the eyes

The story of Taiye Ebele Mbakwe (39), a native of  Umuleri-Mbakala in Abia State sounds like the rested NTA kiddies show, tales by  the moonlight.  The father of two who lives at Number 49, Shifau Street, Ojuelegba, Lagos operates an electronic shop in front of his house with his twin brother, Kehinde.

On the 29th of August, 2009, fate played a cruel one on him.  His twin brother, Kehinde had a minor misunderstanding with their neighbors but instead of settling the matter amicably or going to the police, the neighbour quickly dashed to the nearby Abalti barracks and engaged two soldiers to intervene on their behalf.

Paul Dike, Chief of Defence Staff and Taiye Ebele Mbakwe
Paul Dike, Chief of Defence Staff and Taiye Ebele Mbakwe

Unfortunately, when the angry soldiers arrived the scene, they pounced on Taiye after they failed to meet his twin brother.

They reportedly dragged him into their barracks in place of his twin brother where they subjected him to series of interrogation.   While this was going on, his twin brother who learnt that he was taken away proceeded to the barracks only for him to be stopped at the main gate where he was tortured and severely beaten up by the soldiers posted there.

It was only the timely intervention of one Sergeant who reminded his colleagues that the case should be left for the police to handle, that made the irate soldiers release them.

Unfortunately, when the twin brothers thought that the case was all over, the soldiers emerged again, this time, in their compound, frantically looking for Taiye’s twin brother.   When they failed to meet their target, they, once again, pounced on Taiye, beating and torturing him after which one of them pulled out a jack knife and stabbed him on the eye.   They also made away with some of his wares and cash.

This ugly development so much infuriated their neighbours that they invited the police.   Taiye said that while the police was investigating the case, he was advised to lodge similar report with the military police.

Fortunately, they (military police)  reacted promptly and arrested all the soldiers involved in the case.  The victim, Taiye who narrated his ordeal to Crime Alert with one of his eyes in bandages lamented that he did not bargain for what he got from the soldiers and that he has been rendered penniless by their action.
Excerpts:

“I am a Christian.  My father was a soldier.    He was attached to 203 battalion, 79 NDA and he was among those that died at Ejigbo  plane crash during Babangida regime.    My mother is a trader, she is staying in the village presently.

It all happened on the 29th of August 2009 in my shop.   My twin brother, Kehinde had a misunderstanding with my neighbours,  Monsura and Rafia,  I was inside my room when I heard some noise outside.   I sent my little boy, Tobi ,to go and know what was happening outside and Tobi came back to tell me that it was my twin brother and neighbours. He said Rafia pushed down the DVD in my shop and he asked her to pick up the DVD, she felt reluctant and my twin brother insisted she must pick the DVD up.

“Rafia had to push my twin brother away and went to call her mother.   I was not able to leave what I was doing because I was with a customer. My twin brother had to go to the police station Area C to report the case, while Rafia and her sister Monsura went to Abalti Barracks to bring two soldiers.

When the soldiers came, I was the one in the shop and they asked me about my twin brother, Kehinde,   I told them that he went to the police station to report the case. The soldiers said that I should follow them to their barracks.   I followed them and they asked me to use my phone to call back my brother to come to Abati barracks.

The soldiers said that they were going to make peace between us and our neighbours.   When I called my twin brother, he came.

“The first soldier my brother met at the gate asked him who he was looking for and he answered that a soldier invited him to the barracks because I was arrested. The soldier at the gate decided to use his gun to push him to the middle where other soldiers were gathered.   They could not allow him to say anything, they slapped him, beat him and did all sorts of things to him  but they did not touch me.

“The father of Monsura and Rafia boasted that the beating they gave my brother was not enough. Then one Sergeant came and advised that we should leave the barracks since the case is not for soldiers.    As we left, I  went back to my house, and my brother went to the police station to report the case at about 10pm.  After about one hour, somebody came knocking on my door, as I went to check who was that, I found out it was a soldier named Corporal Andrew.

“ I walked outside the house and the soldiers asked of my twin brother.   I told them that my brother was not at home. So, one of the soldiers named Giwa asked me if I was playing games with them.   Before I could say something, they started beating me, they collected my N20,000  including my gold jewellries.   One of the soldiers stabbed me with jack  knife on my left eye and my right leg.

They took 8 pieces of  sound system from my shop and left me lying helpless in the pool of my blood.“But before then, the soldiers drove away all the members of  my family. On their way going, my twin brother saw them and dodged them.

After they left, he came back home and met me on the floor with blood all over me. He then took  me to the police station at Area c, Surulere by 12 midnight. The police had to incident the case after which they gave me a police report to go to Random Hospital at Surulere .

“The next day, my eye was  still bleeding because I could not go to the hospital that Saturday. As I was about going to the hospital that Sunday, I found out that Baba Monsura was about leaving the compound.  I had to use my phone to call the investigating Police officer and he arrived without delay and arrested him.  During interrogation, the children confessed that they invited the soldiers who manhandled me.

Later the case was charged to court and the Judge remanded them at Ikoyi prisons while their father was said to be in the hospital.

“Later, I was advised to take the case up with the military authorities and I was surprised that they reacted positively by rounding up all those involved in the act and as we are still talking, five of them are undergoing trial in the guardroom.

Presently, my worry is that while those my neighbours have been granted bail and they are freely walking the streets, I have been left to cater for my injuries.  Doctors are saying I may not see with my left eyes again if proper treatment was not given to it.   While I am still running helter-skelter to raise money, the soldiers have also refused to release all my property and money they seized.     I am appealing to Nigerians to help me”, he stated.

STOLEN VEHICLES

One Toyota Yaris S/Car with Reg. No. EY 534 LSR, Colour Black. If seen contact Ikeja Police Station.
One Toyota Hiace Bus with Reg. No. XL 786 AKD, Colour White. If seen contact Mushin Police Station.
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RECOVERED VEHICLES

The Lagos State Police Command recovered a total of 16 vehicles from 16 – 23rd September, 2009 suspected to have been stolen from different locations in the state and the vehicles can be located at the station mentioned against each of the recovered vehicles as follows:-

S/No.     Names of vehicles    Reg. No.    Colour     Location
1.     Hyundai Sonata S/Car    BW 218KSF    Black    RRS Hqtr
2.    V/Wagen Faragon bus    XS 304 FST    LSCC    Itire Div.
3.    Chevrolet Jeep    EP 38 KRD    Green    Ilupeju Div.
4.    Nisan Quest    BL 724 KRD    Ash     Oshodi Div.
5.    B.M.W S/Car    JQ 589 AAA    Blue    Iju DIC.
6.    Toyota Sienna S.Car    Unregistered    Ash    Alapere Div.
7.    V/Wagen Golf 2    XU 931 AKD    LSCC    Area ‘G’ Hq.
8.    V/Wagen Bora S/Car    AJ 109 AAA    Ash    Alapere Div.
9.     MIT. Space Wagon    AS 964 ABC    Grey    Oshodi Div.
10.    M/Benz ‘E’ 320 S/Car    DW 736 GGE    Ash    Anthony                         Div.
11.    Toyota Camry S/Car    LA 33 E01    Black    Ketu Div.
12.    Nissan Quest Bus    EQ 490 LND    S/Blue    Ojo Div.
13.    Toyota Corolla S/Car    FV 174 EKY    Silver    Ilupeju Div.
14.    Honda Accord S/Car    CL 333 Mus    D/Brown    Isokoko                          Div.
15.    Nissan Quest S/W    AL 550 AKN    Blue    Elere Div.
16.    Honda Halla S/Car    CU 337 EKY    Red    Elere Div.


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