COAS Orders Investigation Into Alleged Brutalisation of Civilian Workers by Soldiers

The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja, has initiated an investigation into the alleged brutalisation of civilian workers by soldiers at Command Secondary School Iyana Ipaja, Lagos. This action comes in response to concerns raised by the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) and a protest staged by the civilian staff of the Ministry of Defence.

The Joint Executive Council of the Ministry of Defence organized the protest to highlight the alleged maltreatment. According to Didam Joel, the President of the Council, a civilian staff member has been detained by military authorities for a month despite not being a military personnel. Additionally, Joel reported that an assistant director at Command Secondary School in Ojo, Lagos, was also brutalised recently, in violation of civil service rules.

In response, Lieutenant General Lagbaja reaffirmed his commitment to upholding the rights of all personnel, including civilian staff. He has directed the Provost Marshal (Army) to conduct a thorough and impartial investigation into the incident at Command Secondary School Iyana Ipaja. This investigation aims to address all allegations raised by the ASCSN, ensuring accountability and justice for all involved parties.

A statement from Onyema Nwachukwu, Director of Army Public Relations, emphasized the Nigerian Army’s recognition of the vital role civilian staff play in supporting military operations and daily administration. The Army is committed to fostering a positive and respectful working environment for all personnel.

Lagbaja acknowledged that misunderstandings and miscommunications can occur and stated that the investigation aims to provide clarity and implement measures to prevent similar incidents in the future. The Nigerian Army is dedicated to upholding the rule of law and respecting the rights of all employees, including their fundamental rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining.

The Army is actively engaging with the Ministry of Defence and the ASCSN to resolve any outstanding issues and promote a cordial working relationship and industrial harmony. The statement underscored the importance of open communication and collaboration in resolving challenges and maintaining these principles.

As the investigation continues, the Nigerian Army urged all parties to avoid making premature judgments or spreading misinformation. Trust in the process is essential, and the Army is confident that the investigation will provide a clear and accurate understanding of the situation, leading to appropriate and fair actions. The Army appreciates the patience and understanding of all stakeholders as they work diligently to address these concerns.


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