A pastor with the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Abuja , Alex Ochienu, said he was assaulted and beaten by two soldiers into a coma for refusing to obey their order to do frog jumps . The cleric alleged that he was flogged by Cpl. M . Dankwa and his colleague whose name he did not know , until he collapsed and was rushed to the Gwarimpa General Hospital where he was admitted at the Emergency ward.
The civil engineer said he was supervising construction works at Paradise Estate , Life Camp , Abuja when the soldiers invaded the site with officials of the Development Control Department and assaulted him and other workers. Ochienu told Northern City News on Tuesday that the soldiers beat him with rifle butts and kicked him in the stomach simply because he told them he could not obey their order to do frog jumps as he was fasting.
The engineer said he lost his phone during the incident which occurred on January 17, 2017 at 3pm. Ochienu said despite his pleas to the rampaging soldiers that he was fasting, they refused to listen , but rather flogged him until he collapsed .
He said , “ The soldiers rushed into the site and ordered everyone to frog- jump ; they flogged the workers and threatened to shoot us . I tried to explain to them that I was weak because I was fasting, but Dankwa was infuriated by my explanation.
“ He kicked me in the stomach ; another soldier also joined in beating me till I collapsed . When they saw that I was almost lifeless , they left and I was rushed to the hospital by the workers. ”
The cleric said he learnt the soldiers apologized to the owners of the estate “for their mistake”. But Ochienu said he planned to take legal action against the Development Control Department and the military for the assault.
The Paradise Estate Project Manager , Tobias Tokbe, said he was not at the scene, but added that beside Ochienu , another worker, Bem Ali , was also brutalised by the soldiers without any reason .
He said, “I was discussing with the development control officials at the project office when I saw some workers carrying somebody and they told me Ochienu was beaten by the soldiers that accompanied the development control officials to the site. I was livid .
“I immediately called the development control director who said he didn’t authorize the soldiers to attack anyone . We asked the soldier why he beat up the engineer and he said Ochienu grabbed his jacket which we know was a lie. ”
Tokbe said the riot policemen guarding the estate almost fought with the soldiers after the incident.
When contacted, the Development Control Director, Muktar Galadima, said he was informed about the incident and “I said sorry, but I didn ’ t see the victim of the attack”.