Nigerian Army yesterday refuted reports that a man, Christian Ehima who escaped from Kidnappers was tortured to death when he ran into military check point in Edo State.
The Nigerian Army in a press release signed by the Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu said the deceased ran into military check point with abnormal behaviour.
Nigerian Army shown a video to illustrate their point, insisting, the abnormal behaviour of Christian Ehima became aggravated sighting his mother.
Media had earlier reported and quoted the mother of the deceased as saying her s ok n escaped Kidnappers but only to be killed by men of the Nigerian Army that ought to protect him.
One of the media reports is presented verbatim:
A promising 24-year-old young man, the Director of Chris Konor Table Water situated in Agbor, a Computer Science graduate of the University of Benin (UNIBEN) and the son of ASP Mercy Oghagbon Ehima, the Coordinator, Special Intelligence Bureau, SIB, Agbor Area Command, Christian Onyemakonor Ehima, has lost his life due to Army brutality.
According to sources, the deceased traveled to a place called Ewesa in Edo State on Friday, December 10, 2021, in other to attend a friend’s burial the next day. According to information reaching us, the deceased was taken to the place by his mother who took him to a place he would spend the night so he can arrive early at the wedding the next day.
It was revealed that when it was getting late, the deceased called the mother to complain that he was not feeling too well and that the cold in the place was much and that he has decided to come back to Agbor.
Sources disclosed that the mother of the deceased appealed to the person the son was supposed to spend the night in his place to help the late son get a vehicle that will bring him back to Agbor which he did, but that unfortunately, unknown to them, it was the kidnapper’s vehicle he boarded.
According to our source as the vehicle got to a point on the journey, the driver of the vehicle reverse the vehicle without apology to anyone and at that point, the deceased knew they were kidnappers and at that point, he opened the door of the vehicle, jumped down and ran into the bush.
It was revealed that after a while that the late Christian Ehima ran into the bush, he saw a big snake in the bush and he had to look for a way to come out of the bush and get to the Army checkpoint between Ekpon and Igbanke with the thought that he would be safe there, but unfortunately, according to our source, he made the biggest mistake of his life as immediately the military men saw him, they pounced on him and beat him black and blue.
The mother of the slain 24-year-old, ASP Mercy Oghagbon Ehima who spoke to our correspondent at her residence in Agbor, disclosed that around 7.45 pm that fateful day she put a call across to her son who had informed her earlier that he was not feeling fine and that the cold in Ewesa was much and he wants to come back to Agbor that evening, She noted that she had earlier appealed to the person he was supposed to spend the night in his place to help the son get a vehicle that will bring him to Agbor, but unknown, to the person and the late son they didn’t know the vehicle he boarded was kidnappers vehicle. She said when the call went through, it was a strange voice that picked the son’s call and introduced himself as an Army officer.
Continuing, she stated that when she introduced herself as a police officer, she was told their location while the soldier informed her that the son was dragging their gun with them and she disclosed that she appealed to them not to beat him that she is on her way.
Speaking further, she revealed that when she got there and inquired of her son, they brought his shirt from the hut they were staying but delayed before taking her to see the son whom they have dumped in the bush across the road. She added that before they took her to where the son was, they put a call to someone they called their ‘oga’
She said after seeing the condition of her late son with sand all over him, his eyes nostrils, and mouth, she then appealed to the military men to help her rush the son to the hospital but they refused and asked her if she was not a policewoman that she should call her colleagues to help her out.
Describing her ordeal further, she disclosed that she had to call their family doctor who came immediately with his wife and they took the son to the hospital, she averred that after the doctor had administered treatment, the son regained consciousness for some time and was able to narrate what happened but he later gave up the ghost due to the gruesome beating.
Nigerian Army in it’s reaction dismissed the claims in the media reports, describing the news report as misleading and false.
Nigerian Army words are also presented verbatim:
The Nigerian Army, NA has been alerted to a misleading report making the rounds on social media, alleging that troops tortured one Christian Ehima to death.
The NA being a professional force has utmost respect for the sanctity of human life and zero tolerance for infringement on the rights of the citizenry.
While the NA sympathizes with the family of Late Christian over this unfortunate incident, it is instructive to put the records in proper perspective, contrary to the misgivings peddled on the social media.
Incontrovertible evidence indicate that Christian Ehima wandered into a military check point at Wire – Ake in Edo state on the 10 December 2021, without his clothes on, and was halted by soldiers on duty.
He was interrogated but could not say anything meaningful on where he was coming from or heading.
His behaviour was rather weird and indicative of one who was obviously under some sort of influence.
The Guard Commander, who observed his abnormal behavior immediately requested for his phone in an effort to contact any of his relations, friends or associates. Shortly afterwards, a call came through to his phone and the caller identified herself as his mother. The soldier invited her to pick up her son, who was still very agitated and unstable.
Subsequently, the woman arrived the scene and identified herself as his mother and a police officer.
She was briefed about her son’s observed abnormal behaviour. In her conversation with the soldiers, she attributed her son’s weird behaviour to influence of alcohol.
The soldiers however, maintained, that whatever was responsible for Christian’s behaviour at that time, was way beyond alcoholism. On sighting his mother, his behavior aggravated. Thereafter, some passerby were mobilized to help her take him to the hospital.
It is also important to state that the incident was recorded both on video and audio, showing the behaviour of Christian Ehima and his mother commending the soldiers for their kind intervention. The evidence, including audio recordings of the police officer and her son are attached.
Surprisingly, this unfortunate incident has been falsely reported in the social media without recourse to the reality of what transpired on the said date.
The general public are urged to disregard this misguided information, as it is clearly manipulative and evidently an attempt to bring disrepute to the NA .