By Evelyn Usman
A Colonel in the Nigerian Army(names withheld) was alleged to have beaten up some residents of an estate in Maryland area of Lagos, Monday, following a lingering issue between residents of the estate and the personnel’s family.
There were different accounts as to how the estate was turned into disarray.
Vanguard’s investigation revealed that one of the Colonel’s brothers had a bar in front of their father’s house, an act that was kicked against by residents as part of efforts to checkmate the influx of strangers into the estate.
Another version of the account, however, alleged that the Colonel’s father’s house, a block of 12 flats, was converted into a brothel, where criminals hibernate.
A resident, who gave his name as Anthony Williams, said: “Different complaints for them to close the brothel fell on deaf ears.
“On the day of the invasion, residents, including women and children returning from their respective work places and schools, were delayed at the gate. The soldiers molested and beat some of them with horsewhips.
“Those who dared to put up resistance were severely dealt with.
“They ordered private guards at the gate to lie down and hit them with the butts of their guns. The invasion and attack lasted two hours.”
‘I tried to caution him’
Another witness, Mr. Ochendu Uchena, alleged that he was slapped by the Army officer when he tried to intervene.
He said: “I approached him (Colonel) to appeal to him to caution his men, as the act was against what the military stood for. But to my shock, he slapped me, kicked me and ordered me to sit on the ground.”
Vanguard was informed that some of the guards went to the Colonel’s father’s house last Friday to pack some property out.
The guards were also alleged to have beaten up a domestic staff that attempted to prevent them from packing the property.
‘The accusations are false’
However, those close to the Colonel described the allegation of attack on women and children as false.
A source explained that “the information of invasion and attack of women and children by the Colonel is false. He went there in the company of his driver and orderly , and not with soldiers. Will you call that an invasion?
“He only went to the guards at the estate gate to find out why they went to his father’s house to pack some property.
“There are proper ways to handle a matter if they did not want the bar in front of the house; not to take laws into their hands.”
Another said: “He only slapped the guard that beat up their domestic worker who attempted to stop them from moving the property away.
“If they claimed he beat up women and children, let them provide picture or video evidence.”