The Nigerian Army has pledged to conduct an inquiry following allegations made by a female soldier stationed in Lagos State. She claimed that certain senior officers have been targeting her life and subjecting her to oppression due to her refusal of their s*xual advances.
In a video that has gone viral, the female soldier who did not give her name, lamented how the senior Army officers who she identified as Col. IB Abdulkareem, Col. GS Ogor and Brig. Gen. IB Solebo have been oppressing her since she was posted to Cantonment Medical Centre, Ojo, Lagos in 2022, for refusing their s*xual advances.
According to her, she has been locked up several times for no reason, ejected from her apartment, locked up in a psychiatric hospital for a month without any medication with a claim that she has mental illness and her account frozen since February 2023 without salary for no reason.
She further alleged that Col. Abdulkareem had made some attempts to s*xually assault her but when he was found out, he claimed that she had mental illness, adding that she had made several efforts including writing a petition and getting some senior and junior officers to intervene but to no avail.
She also said that Col. Abdulkareem had denied her access to military courses, and that when her father contacted ColAbdulkareem over her issues, he (Abdulkareem) told her father to ask her to obey the last order.
“I know definitely they will come for me. They will lock me up and they will dismiss me but I don’t care. I can’t endure again. Before coming out to make this video, I can’t endure again. I don’t want to die young. If anything should happen to me, please hold Col. IB Abdulkareem, Col. GS Ogor and Brig. Gen. IB Solebo responsible, because they don’t want me to grow. They don’t want my progress.
This is what happened. In 2022, I was posted to Cantonment Medical Center, Ojo where I met Col. IB Abdulkareem, who requested s*x from me and I refused. Ever since then, this man has been my nightmare in the army. He threatened to dismiss me each time he sees me.
He ejected me from my room, sent some boys to my house. I have all the evidence and I have witness. He came to my house to eject me.
Each time I try to expose him or each time any senior officer tries to intervene, he also stigmatizes me, that I have mental illness. He would always tell them that I have mental illness.
He wrote to DOA three times to board me out of the Army. He froze my account for one year. He froze my account since February last year (2023) till date, no salary.
I have cried to some senior officers. I wrote a petition using Section 179 of the Armed Forces Act. I have seen so many officers, senior officers, junior officers to intervene but none of them is giving me a listening ear. Any time anyone tries to intervene, he will tell them that I have mental illness.
There was a day he locked me, he almost raped me and when they caught him, he said I have mental illness and he took me to a psychiatric hospital and locked me up there for one month without any medication.
He has denied me access to military courses, meanwhile, they know very well that my progression in the army is determined by my course attendance. No course. I have been given admission in a medical school but he refused to release me.
There was a day I called my dad and my dad intervened but he told my dad to tell me to obey the last order. What is the last order? For him to sleep with me? He has denied me everything. I can’t even go on passes to see my parents. No pass, no leave for me. But please and please, if anything should happen to me, hold them responsible, especially Col. IB Abdulkareem, Col. GS Ogor and Brig. Gen. IB Solebo. They are my nightmare in the Army.
They have done everything to tarnish my image because they are all course mates. I don't know what I have done to them. Till today I haven’t collected salary. I can’t endure this again. Let the worst happen.”
The army in a release by Major-General Onyema Nwachukwu, the Director Army Public Relations, on Friday January 12, said the female soldier had yet to inform relevant bodies and institutions about her predicament before releasing a video.
“The Nigerian Army (NA) has been inundated with audiovisuals making the rounds on social media of the unprofessional conduct of a female soldier in mufti, who claimed to have been maltreated by some senior officers. It is instructive to state that considering the gravity of the allegations, NA as a disciplined force will conduct a thorough investigation into the matter.
It is crucial to point out that contrary to the claims made in the video, the soldier in question has not exhausted the laid down procedure for seeking redress in the NA. This is aside Human Rights and Gender Desks established in Army Headquarters and across NA formations, where complaints about human rights and gender issues are also entertained.
The NA remains a professional force that self-regulates and conducts its activities in adherence to established rules and ethics while upholding the highest standards of discipline amongst personnel. We, therefore, encourage all personnel to always utilize the established channels for addressing grievances and concerns as a member of a noble and disciplined force.”
He assured Nigerians that the Nigerian Army as “an institution is committed to upholding the integrity and morals of its personnel and as such appropriate actions will be taken based on the findings of the investigation.
“We urge the public to allow the investigative process to take its course and refrain from making hasty judgments. The NA remains dedicated to serving our nation with honor and integrity."
Via its X handle today, the Nigerian Army asked the public to allow investigations into the allegations and refrain from making hasty judgments.