By Emeka Mamah
Enugu- As motorists grumble over alleged extortion at military checkpoints under Operation Python Dance 3, the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army has said that the Rules of Engagement made available to troops in internal security duty did not make room for such malfeasance.
However, commercial bus and truck drivers had complained that soldiers at military checkpoints across the southeast zone, usually employed the services of young civilians at checkpoints to collect money ranging from N200 to N300 on their behalf before being allowed to pass through such roadblocks.
A trip by Vanguard across such road blocks, especially, in some parts of Enugu, revealed that commercial bus, tipper or truck drivers are made to part with some money usually through some proxies, before they are allowed to pass through.
But, reacting to the development, the Deputy Director, Public Relations, 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, Col Sagir Musa, denounced such alleged misdemeanor, saying it was against the rules of engagement, made available to military personnel on internal security assignments.
Musa’s statement read, “The 82 Division Nigerian Army dont licence, condone, or encourage, any professional misconduct such as extortion by any of its personnel especially those on Internal Security duty.
“There have been various efforts such as Operation Checkmate; establishment of human rights desk, Rules of Engagement and Code of Conduct given to troops on duty to halt any form of professional infractions.
“So, we encourage anybody that witness such violations to report to 82 Division Human Rights Desk or Public Relations Department for appropriate and decisive action.”