A couple of soldiers physically assaulted a 51-year-old woman identified as Joy Agboghide for allegedly obstructing traffic on Forestry Lane in Edo State, Punch reports. The woman had been instructed by a Major to reverse her car, which was parked in front of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company in order to ease traffic on the narrow road. However, the mother of six told the officer that she had already allowed five vehicles to go due to the indiscriminate parking of vehicles on the road. Her response sparked an argument between herself and the soldier as the army officer insisted that she must reverse her vehicle.
When the woman refused to yield, the major angrily returned to the BEDC premises and emerged with more soldiers. He then allegedly ordered them to beat the woman up. The woman was reportedly rushed to the Central Hospital in Benin for treatment after the assault. The woman recounted the incident: “I went to Lagos Street to get some food items. So, I passed through Forestry (Lane) to the road beside former NEPA. As I was going, the driver of the vehicle in front of me and some traders around told me to stop. I stopped and about four vehicles passed. Later, the traders told me to go.
As I moved on, a soldier told me to reverse and I explained that I had waited for some vehicles to pass. But he said, ‘Do you know who you are talking to? Reverse!’ Before I knew it, he used his gun to hit my windscreen. I came out and asked him what I had done and he said I should wait. He went into the BEDC premises and came out with some soldiers who descended on me.”
The woman also stated that the Major had instructed the soldiers to clear her off the road but she had pulled him before he could leave, adding that she told him to pay for the damage done to her car. Agboghide alleged that she was also assaulted by a woman presumed to be the wife of the officer. “As the man jumped inside his vehicle and tried to drive off, I hit his windscreen. He came down and damaged my windscreen and the rear screen. “Suddenly, he came out with a whip and beat me. The lady inside the vehicle also sprayed tear gas into my eyes” she stated.
Spokesman for the 4 Brigade Command of the Nigerian Army, Captain Jonah Unuakhalu addressed the incident and revealed that the officer involved was not in the Army. “He is a Nigerian Air Force officer. But we are investigating” he stated.