By Emmanuel Ayungbe, Chioma Onuegbu & dennis Uduma

UYO—Akwa Ibom State acting Chief Judge, Justice Godwin Abraham and the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria, JUSUN, have concluded plans to take legal action against the Nigerian Army over alleged human rights abuses.

This followed the recent shooting of Mr Godwin Udoaka, a judiciary worker, by a soldier of the 2 Brigade (6 Division) Nigerian Army, Ibagwa, Sergeant Usman Tella, after a heated argument over right of way on Udo Umana Road, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.

It was gathered that the victim, who is the Chief Driver at the Judiciary headquarters, Uyo, was allegedly forced to move the official bus he was driving off the road.

The soldier, Vanguard learned, is an escort personnel attached to a Hilux van belonging to WIZCHINO Engineering Limited, a Chinese firm constructing the Etinan-Onna Road.

Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Tukur Buratai

The source disclosed that the Hilux conveying soldiers chased the driver and blocked him at Asutan Street in the state capital, where one of them allegedly jumped down and shot the driver before reversing the van and droving off.

Worried by the incident, the acting Chief Judge who visited the victim at the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, UUTH,  vowed to pursue the case to its logical conclusion in line with the laws of the nation.

Meanwhile, the Military High Command in the state has confirmed the attack on the judiciary worker by one of its own, Sergeant Tella, but denied that the attacker actually shot at Mr. Udoaka.

According to a statement by the Assistant Director in-charge of Army Public Relations at the 2 Brigade, Ibagwa, Abak Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, Capt. S. I. Umar, “The soldier only hit the windscreen of the bus and particles of glasses bruise the victim’s face.”

Justice Abraham who frowned at indiscriminate use of firearms by security agencies, wondered  why a security official paid with public funds would instead turned the weapon against defenseless civilian and vowed that he would stop at nothing to ensure justice prevails.

“We will ensure the culprit does escape the long arm of the law,” the acting CJ said, noting that the soldier’s real intention was to kill the victim, but for the intervention of God.

In the same vein, JUSUN, the judiciary union which the victim belongs, has said it would follow the due process of law to ensure justice was obtained for its member.

In a statement weekend, the State Chairman of JUSUN, Mr Mbebe Albert, noted that the action of the soldier was deliberate, recalling that the Soldier trailed his colleague from Udo Umana, where the argument ensued, all the way to Asutan Street, where the man was shot and the windscreen of the bus shattered by bullet.

“Whoever did this must be made to pay for it,  we are going to pursue the matter until we secure justice for the victim to serve as deterrent to others,” the statement said.

A medical personnel, among a team currently battling to save his life at the Accident Emergency Unit, AEU- UUTH, said the victim would require plastic surgery to correct his facial features.

Dr. Eyo Sunday, of UUTH described the victim’s case as critical and pathetic, owing to grievous damage done to the nasal and facial tissues of the victim.

Meanwhile, the Military high command in the state, has confirmed the attack of the judiciary worker by one of its own, Sergeant Tella, but denied the attacker actually shot at Mr. Udoaka.

According to a statement by the Assistant Director in-charge of Army Public Relations at the 2 Brigade, Ibagwa, Abak Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, Capt. S. I. Umar, “The soldier only hit the windscreen of the bus and particles of glasses bruise the victim’s face.”

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