Connect with us
ANE Scholarship
Categories:

General

How Soldiers Tortured Me, Dragged Me On The Ground – Adewale Salawu

Published

on

Share this post:

Adewale Salawu, a legal practitioner based in
Oyo State, tells WALE OYEWALE about the recent assault he allegedly experienced in the hands of soldiers and in the detention of the Nigerian Army in Ibadan, Oyo State

Can you narrate your experience on October 29, when you were said to have been assaulted by soldiers?

On that day, I was invited by the organisers of the Yoruba coalition group in Ibadan for a meeting which was supposed to be held at the House of Chiefs, Oyo State Secretariat, Ibadan at 11am. I was about 15 minutes late. When I got to the secretariat, there was a heavy presence of security operatives. I saw the police, Operation Burst team, personnel of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps and many others in front of the secretariat. There was pandemonium. I was shocked but I thought the meeting I was there for didn’t have anything to do with that. As I approached the gate, I discovered it had been locked so I parked my car at a safe distance. I had to call some of the Yoruba leaders at the venue to let them know that I was around but unable to gain access into the secretariat. One of the people I called, Prof. Ogundoro, said I should wait at the gate. He said some of the leaders would come and speak with the security agents. One of the officers asked what was happening and I tried to explain that a meeting of some Yoruba leaders was going on at the House of Chiefs.

Then my attention was drawn to something going on nearby and I was told that a soldier assaulting a man was the Commander of Operation Burst – the Commander of Operation Burst was pushing a man at that time. I was told that a soldier was pushed to the ground during the pandemonium but I was not there so I don’t really know what happened. The man that was being harassed was Mr Kunle Adelakun (Jagunmolu Agbekoya of Yorubaland). He was pinned down by the Commander of Operation Burst. He was saying that he didn’t know the person who had pushed one of the soldiers, and that it happened before he got there. So, I repeated what the man said to the officer that he said he didn’t know about it. Then the soldier said that must mean that I knew the person who did it. I asked what he meant by that and introduced myself as a lawyer.

He told the commander that since the man being held said he was not the one that pushed the said soldier to the ground, then I must know the person who did it. The Commander of Operation Burst asked them to pin me down and I was dragged on the ground to where Mr Adelakun was pinned down. Again, I identified myself as a lawyer and said I was there for a programme but he said that was not his business and that lawyers were the ones encouraging citizens to disobey them. I was shocked.

They started beating me and Mr Adelakun. Then, they started shooting and there was pandemonium. A lot of people got injured. Some other people were also arrested and we were put in their vehicles and ordered to be taken to Odogbo Cantonment. Till we got to the cantonment from the secretariat, we were beaten by the soldiers. Guns were pointed at me. The soldiers said they were going to kill us if we didn’t cooperate with them and that nothing would happen if they killed us. They said we were the ones who wanted democracy and didn’t want soldiers. We knew that if we continued to argue with them, they could shoot us so we decided to keep quiet. When we got to Odogbo Cantonment, we met about 56 other people there being ‘drilled’ (given punishment) by soldiers.

Those who were being ‘drilled’ at the barracks were not soldiers?

No, they were not soldiers. They were young men. They arrested them for allegedly causing trouble in different areas in Ibadan. They asked me to remove my top and I said I was not a criminal. They said they were not trained to respect lawyers but to kill. Some of the soldiers were in mufti so it was difficult to get their names but I can identify them. They said they were acting on the order given to them by the Commander of Operation Burst to ‘drill’ us. They asked us to sit on the ground and they were taking pictures of us while we were almost naked. It was that bad.

At what time did the problem start?

It all started around 11:25am on Thursday, October 29. We were there until around 5:30pm when a superior officer came. The officer asked the soldiers to bring us to his office. Then he said another round of ‘drilling’ should start and I told him that because of the inhumane treatment that had been meted out to me, I could no longer lift any part of my body or breathe well. He said I should go and lie down on the grass and face the sun while they continued to ‘drill’ the others. At a point, I was gasping for breath and one officer, Ojo, had to pour some water on me. The superior officer later came out and said I was encouraging citizens to disobey orders and soldiers. I was shocked. I said I didn’t know what he was talking about and that he should let me explain what happened to him but he said no. He said he had been briefed. Reluctantly, he released me and angrily said I had to come back at 9am the following morning. At that point, I didn’t have to argue with him because I just wanted to leave the place. I heard that Mr Adelakun was also released later in the day.

Did you go there the following morning?

I didn’t go there.

What steps have you taken to seek redress?

I have informed the Nigerian Bar Association about what happened. Some lawyers and Yoruba leaders are also aware of what happened. It is bad that in democratic dispensation, soldiers can go out, arrest people, take them to their cantonment and torture them. People can be handed over to the police or charged to court rather than detaining them and meting out inhumane treatment to them. You needed to see the level of threat to life, assault and molestation that we faced. It was unbearable. But at that point, there was nothing we could do because all they kept saying was that they were trained to shoot. We didn’t need to argue with them. All I kept saying was that God should save me from them. That was my experience in the hands of the Nigerian Army and they were following the orders of the Commander of Operation Burst in the state.

I never had such an experience until then. I am a lawyer and I go to police stations to sort out issues but I never had such an experience with any security outfit.

Is it true you have asthma and had an attack during the ordeal?

I had chest pain as a result of the ‘drilling’ at the secretariat, even before we were taken to the cantonment. When I got to the cantonment, the pain became so severe that I could not breathe very well.

Did you sustain physical injury as a result of the assault?

There was no visible physical injury because those people know where to hit you such that you will feel pain, yet there won’t be bruises on your body. They can brutalise you in such a way that it will not be obvious but the pain will be there.

Did you visit the hospital after the experience?

I visited the hospital and was given some drugs. I am still taking medication.

Is it true that some members of Agbekoya are still there?

I was surprised to hear on Saturday, October 31 that some Agbekoya members were still there. But I didn’t go there to confirm it. I was told that they were transferred to Iyaganku Police Station but I don’t know what the position of the police is. I have family members who are soldiers and police officers but it was already late by the time I got in touch with them.

Will you or the NBA take any legal action on the matter?

I reported what happened to the NBA and the association is already working on it. I call on the NBA president (Mr Olumide Akpata), National Human Rights Commission, Governor of Oyo State, Mr Seyi Makinde and international bodies to take up this matter and ensure such does not happen again.

We are in a democracy but we are operating a military democracy. Such inhumane treatment should not be meted to the citizens in a democracy. We saw how citizens who were protesting for their rights were arrested and charged to court. It is so sad. Citizens have the right to protest, they have the right to freedom of association and right to life.

What must be done to bring sanity to the system?

We need an overhaul of our security architecture. Their work should be well spelt out and they should know their limit. The role of the police is not to brutalise citizens. The police and military should protect the citizens. The army should protect the territorial integrity of Nigeria and contend with external forces. These are the roles that they should play. Two, we need restructuring that is freely and fairly arrived at. I don’t mean the kind of restructuring that would be beneficial to only a few people. We need restructuring that would be pleasing to all irrespective of their locality, gender and tribe otherwise; we should return to regional system of government.

Considering your experience, would you support any of your children to join the army?

I can never support any of my children who want to join the Nigerian military. I would rather give them every necessary support to join the US Army if I had the opportunity because that is one of the countries that see the lives of their citizens as valuable. Look at what is happening in the US, though the president-elect has not been sworn in, all the security architecture is already in place to do what is supposed to be done. We don’t have laws that can check people and some of the good laws that we have are not being implemented.


Get More Stories Like This On: Facebook: @AllNaijaEntertainment, Twitter: @AllNaijaEntertainment

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Kalidou Koulibaly
Sports8 hours ago

Fabio Capello accuses Koulibaly of showing no personality at Chelsea

Graham Potter backs Reece James to become a Chelsea legend
Sports8 hours ago

Graham Potter backs Reece James to become a Chelsea legend

Sports8 hours ago

Thierry Henry sends warning to Christian Pulisic at Chelsea

Obi Maduegbuna joins the cast of 'Last Call' directed by Shola Thompson
Entertainment8 hours ago

Obi Maduegbuna joins the cast of ‘Last Call’ directed by Shola Thompson

The release date for Ayra Starr's upcoming song, "Rush," is announced as Friday, 16th, and a teaser is released
Entertainment8 hours ago

Why I used to take my friends and family to my concerts – Ayra Starr

Oxlade showers praises on Wizkid
Entertainment8 hours ago

Oxlade showers praises on Wizkid

Entertainment8 hours ago

Tekno on a 30 days non-smoking challenge

Horoscope8 hours ago

Your daily horoscope for Thursday, October 6, 2022

Naira Marley reacts to Mohbad's assault video
Entertainment21 hours ago

Naira Marley reacts to Mohbad’s assault video

Naira Marley reacts to Mohbad's assault video
Entertainment21 hours ago

Mohbad alleges that he suffered at Naira Marley’s Marlian Record House

Microsoft confirms zero-day exploits against Exchange Server in limited attacks
Technology21 hours ago

Microsoft confirms zero-day exploits against Exchange Server in limited attacks

Nepxion Discovery software with Spring Cloud functionality fails to patch RCE
Technology22 hours ago

Nepxion Discovery software with Spring Cloud functionality fails to patch RCE

Project promises generation of bulk pull requests for patches
Technology22 hours ago

Project promises generation of bulk pull requests for patches

Court sentences ex-cop to 10years imprisonment
News22 hours ago

Court sentences ex-cop to 10years imprisonment

News22 hours ago

Security man arrested for resigning after stealing N620,000 from church

Zamfara Govt to implement N30,000 minimum wage in November – Deputy Governor
News23 hours ago

Zamfara Govt to implement N30,000 minimum wage in November – Deputy Governor

Sanwo-Olu appoints pioneer VC for LASUSTECH
News23 hours ago

Sanwo-Olu appoints pioneer VC for LASUSTECH

News23 hours ago

Buhari suffered from PTSD – Aisha Buhari

Wike is our greatest asset – Iyorchia Ayu
News23 hours ago

Wike is our greatest asset – Iyorchia Ayu

Man united coach "Erik ten Hag" explains decision to bench Casemiro and Cristiano Ronaldo for Manchester United’s clash against Southampton
Sports23 hours ago

Erik ten Hag explains why Casemiro is not getting picked to start

Bruno Fernandes responds to claims he berated Manchester United team-mates
Sports24 hours ago

Bruno Fernandes responds to claims he berated Manchester United team-mates

Antony marked his Manchester United debut with a well-taken goal against Arsenal on Sunday, becoming the first Brazilian to score on his Premier League bow for the club. The winger, who arrived from Ajax in an £81.3million (€95m) deal, latched onto Marcus Rashford’s well-timed pass to slot home after 35 minutes, handing the Red Devils a 1-0 lead at Old Trafford. Antony became the ninth Brazilian player to appear for United in the Premier League. At the age of 22 years and 192 days, Antony’s goal made him the youngest Brazilian to score on his Premier League debut for any team. Casemiro became the eighth Brazilian to appear for United in the competition last month after joining from Real Madrid, but the midfielder is still awaiting his first start for the club. Antony was United’s most costly addition in a busy transfer window, having joined the likes of Christian Eriksen, Tyrell Malacia, Lisandro Martinez, Casemiro and Martin Dubravka in making the switch to Old Trafford.
Sports1 day ago

Antony ignored Erik ten Hag instructions during Manchester United’s defeat to Man City

Thomas Tuchel has left Chelsea after winning the Champions League in 2021
Sports1 day ago

Thomas Tuchel rejects job offer after Chelsea sacking

Victor AD to remind listeners of his special talent
Entertainment1 day ago

Victor AD to remind listeners of his special talent

UC Dray, Lupo releases new single 'Third Floor' featuring Jeriq
Entertainment1 day ago

UC Dray, Lupo releases new single ‘Third Floor’ featuring Jeriq

Ozee B releases heart break themed anthem titled 'Ex Man'
Entertainment1 day ago

Ozee B releases heart break themed anthem titled ‘Ex Man’

Tia Mowry files for divorce from husband after 14 years together
Entertainment1 day ago

Tia Mowry files for divorce from husband after 14 years together

Horoscope1 day ago

Your daily horoscope for Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Twitter
News2 days ago

Elon Musk proposes to buy Twitter

News2 days ago

My administration spends N8b yearly on exam fees, school feeding – Tambuwal

Woman describes how her 4-year-old daughter died after being sexually assaulted
News2 days ago

Woman describes how her 4-year-old daughter died after being sexually assaulted

House of Reps to investigate the root causes of incessant national grid collapse
News2 days ago

House of Reps to investigate the root causes of incessant national grid collapse

Mikel John Obi describes the choice to move to Chelsea instead of Manchester United
Sports2 days ago

Mikel John Obi describes the choice to move to Chelsea instead of Manchester United

Mario Melchiot warns Premier League is becoming a one-team league
Sports2 days ago

Mario Melchiot warns Premier League is becoming a one-team league

Kalidou Koulibaly insists Chelsea will be ready for Olivier Giroud
Sports2 days ago

Kalidou Koulibaly insists Chelsea will be ready for Olivier Giroud

Chelsea leading battle to sign Rafael Leao as AC Milan set price tag for star
Sports2 days ago

Chelsea leading battle to sign Rafael Leao as AC Milan set price tag for star

Asa sues Joeboy for N300 million in copyright violation
Entertainment2 days ago

Asa sues Joeboy for N300 million in copyright violation

Soso Soberekon tried to kill me – Harrysong
Entertainment2 days ago

Soso Soberekon tried to kill me – Harrysong

Epic movie "Anikulapo" by Kunle Afolayan is scheduled to premiere in September
Entertainment2 days ago

World tagged ‘Anikulapo’ a masterpiece – Kunle Afolayan response to Oscars snub

Wakanda Forever: Marvel reveals identity of Black Panther in official trailer
Entertainment2 days ago

Wakanda Forever: Marvel reveals identity of Black Panther in official trailer

Graham Potter praises Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as Crystal Palace chairman criticizes Jorginho.Graham Potter praises Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as Crystal Palace chairman criticizes Jorginho
Sports4 days ago

Graham Potter praises Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as Crystal Palace chairman criticizes Jorginho

Mikael Silvestre explains why Arsenal could be in trouble for north London derby
Sports7 days ago

Thomas Partey: Player Arsenal can’t afford to be without against Tottenham – Alan Smith

Your weekly tarot horoscope for July 24 to July 30 – and Jupiter going retrograde
Horoscope4 days ago

Your weekly tarot horoscope for October 2 to October 8 and the end of Mercury retrograde

Twitter pulled out of "OnlyFans-style service" over child safety fears
Technology7 days ago

Twitter under fire for placing ads next to child abuse content

Wilfried Zaha criticizes Reece James in deleted social media post after Chelsea win
Sports4 days ago

Wilfried Zaha criticizes Reece James in deleted social media post after Chelsea win

Brendan Rodgers would be ‘logical’ appointment at Chelsea and reveals Graham Potter worry – Rio Ferdinand
Sports5 days ago

Rio Ferdinand discusses what impressed him most about William Saliba in win over Tottenham

Multiple cyberattacks launched by Anonymous against the Iranian government
Technology7 days ago

Multiple cyberattacks launched by Anonymous against the Iranian government

Jack Wilshere sends message to Arsenal record breaker "Ethan Nwaneri"
Sports7 days ago

Jack Wilshere sends message to Arsenal record breaker “Ethan Nwaneri”

Sheggz' ex tweets accusing Sheggz of abuse
Entertainment5 days ago

Sheggz’ ex tweets accusing Sheggz of abuse

Mark Hamill joins forces with President Zelensky, compare Russia to ‘the evil empire’
News6 days ago

Mark Hamill joins forces with President Zelensky, compare Russia to ‘the evil empire’

BBNaija S7: Sheggz reacts to being abusive with Bella
Entertainment7 days ago

BBNaija S7: Sheggz reacts to being abusive with Bella

Asake sells out second London O2 show in minutes, release date for third show
Entertainment6 days ago

Asake sells out second London O2 show in minutes, release date for third show

Manchester United is getting ready for a transfer war for Benfica's star striker
Sports4 days ago

Manchester United is getting ready for a transfer war for Benfica’s star striker

Graham Potter explains Chelsea new move to Brighton supporters
Sports6 days ago

Graham Potter confirms four Chelsea stars will miss Crystal Palace

Barcelona eyeing a move for Man City star Ilkay Gundogan
Sports7 days ago

Barcelona eyeing a move for Man City star Ilkay Gundogan

Ihedioha disputes claims that Obi supporters are saboteurs
News6 days ago

Ihedioha disputes claims that Obi supporters are saboteurs

Davido and his fiancee, Chioma Avril Rowland
Entertainment6 days ago

Davido & Chioma seen partying together [Video]

Nord Stream blasts ‘clearly an act of sabotage’ – Liz Truss
News5 days ago

Nord Stream blasts ‘clearly an act of sabotage’ – Liz Truss

Rancher stored confidential information in plaintext, exposed Kubernetes clusters to takeover
Technology3 days ago

Rancher stored confidential information in plaintext, exposed Kubernetes clusters to takeover

An elite fitness watch and Apple’s best for years [Apple Watch Ultra review]
Technology4 days ago

An elite fitness watch and Apple’s best for years [Apple Watch Ultra review]

News7 days ago

NECO releases SSCE internal results for 2022

Phyna BBNaija
Entertainment4 days ago

Phyna Wins BBNaija Season 7

Wakanda Forever: Marvel reveals identity of Black Panther in official trailer
Entertainment2 days ago

Wakanda Forever: Marvel reveals identity of Black Panther in official trailer

Sports3 days ago

Granit Xhaka apologized to Arsenal teammates at half-time during Tottenham win

Ed Sheeran
Entertainment6 days ago

Ed Sheeran to face trial over accusation of copying Marvin Gaye hit single

APC dismisses alleged conflict between Adamu, Tinubu
News7 days ago

APC dismisses alleged conflict between Adamu, Tinubu

Buju BNXN: 'I'm heartbroken' – after his nude video was leaked
Entertainment3 days ago

Buju (BNXN) drops snippet for unreleased song

Zelensky wants to expedite Ukraine’s bid to join Nato after Putin’s land grab
News6 days ago

Zelensky wants to expedite Ukraine’s bid to join Nato after Putin’s land grab

Sen. Bamidele receives a national honor from Buhari
News7 days ago

Sen. Bamidele receives a national honor from Buhari

Court dissolves 10-year-old marriage
News5 days ago

Court dissolves 10-year-old marriage

Asa sues Joeboy for N300 million in copyright violation
Entertainment2 days ago

Asa sues Joeboy for N300 million in copyright violation

Phyna BBNaija
Entertainment4 days ago

BBNaija S7: Groovy was forming all busy, Amaka didn’t blow me a kiss – Phyna laments

Hocus Pocus 2 casts spell on fans as first reactions heap praise on sequel
Entertainment4 days ago

Hocus Pocus 2 casts spell on fans as first reactions heap praise on sequel

Asake sells out O2 London show, announces second show
Entertainment6 days ago

Asake sells out O2 London show, announces second show

Cesc Fabregas reveals ‘only question mark’ over Arsenal’s title challenge
Sports5 days ago

Cesc Fabregas reveals ‘only question mark’ over Arsenal’s title challenge

Microsoft confirms zero-day exploits against Exchange Server in limited attacks
Technology21 hours ago

Microsoft confirms zero-day exploits against Exchange Server in limited attacks

AttachMe Oracle cloud bug exposes volumes to data theft and hijacking
Technology4 days ago

AttachMe Oracle cloud bug exposes volumes to data theft and hijacking

Phil Foden
Sports4 days ago

Phil Foden Breaks Messi’s Record

#OsunDecides2022: All eyes on Oyetola, Adeleke as counting of votes begins
News6 days ago

Osun Election: APC anticipates success before the tribunal

News5 days ago

Yahaya Bello urges FG to declare state of national disaster on Kogi

ANE Billboard Hots