Army Vows Sanction As Detained Soldiers Protest ‘Poor Feeding’ In Sokoto

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The Nigerian Army has vowed to sanction some detained soldiers who protested “overcrowded cells and poor feeding” at the Sokoto barracks detention facility.

In a viral video, a soldier was reportedly shot while some detained colleagues broke out of “overcrowded cells” to protest poor feeding at the Sokoto detention of the Nigerian Army on Thursday.

In a statement on Saturday, a spokesman for the Army, Major General Onyema Nwachukwu said the authorities have taken note of the viral video produced by some of its personnel held in custody at the 8 Division Garrison detention facility.

“Undoubtedly, the Sokoto barracks detention facility incident is quite unfortunate and an embarrassment to the sound administration efforts of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), to say the least, and in line with his leadership style, the COAS has instituted an appropriate investigation into the incident to determine whether it is an isolated or widespread situation in similar detention facilities.

“While the service regrets and has gleaned some lessons from the incident, it will however not condone the manner the inmates expressed their purported grievance,” the statement partly read.

The Army described as “mutiny and conduct prejudicial to service order”, the actions of the detained soldiers. The Army said such “grievous misconducts” won’t be tolerated.

The military authorities said the directives of the Army chief Lt. Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja to look into the state of all military detention facilities in the country will be implemented “as detainees’ lives also matter”.

“The Service shall not shy away from appropriately sanctioning the soldiers involved in the unruly behaviour in its Sokoto detention facility for failing to exhaust all available options to channel their complaints to the appropriate authorities and if it was discovered they did and nothing was done, necessary administrative actions will be taken against anyone found to have failed to discharge his/her duties effectively.

“While the Service is mindful of its subjective oversight engagements by statutory bodies, it remains primarily a responsible, self-regulating professional body.

“As such, the Service remains committed to ensuring that everyone, even those found guilty of aiding terrorists, kidnappers, and bandits, and are awaiting confirmation of their sentencing, as it has been discovered in the Sokoto case is accorded a relatively decent life until their judgment is confirmed and executed,” the statement added.

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