The Nigerian Army has clarified that its officer, previously widely reported to have committed suicide on Armed Forces Remembrance Day in Ogun State, actually died from an accidental discharge.
The force described the cause of the incident as mishandling and negligence with a weapon by the deceased soldier.
The officer, Boyi ThankGod, who was attached to the 35 Artillery brigade command, Alamala, in Abeokuta, was reported to have shot himself in the head during a standby duty on the Armed Forces Remembrance Day.
A gory image which has gone viral on social media showed his lifeless body lying in the pool of his blood after his head was shattered due to the impact of the bullet.
The 35 Artillery brigade command is, however, expressing displeasure with some sections of the media who misled the public by claiming that the soldier killed himself out of frustration and non-payment of salary.
In a statement, the Acting Deputy Director Army Public Relations, 81 Division NA, Olabisi Ayeni, on Wednesday, refuted the claims of suicide by the officer, insisting that the incident had nothing to do with welfare.
He said investigation into the immediate cause of the incident, indicated that “the deceased soldier reportedly handled his personal weapon negligently and misfired, which resulted in his death.”
Ayeni further said investigations have commenced to unravel the circumstances and possible remote cause of the unfortunate incident.
The Army Spokesman added that the remains of the soldier have been evacuated and deposited at the Federal Medical Centre Abeokuta.
“The Division, through the Commander 35 Artillery Brigade, has informed the deceased family and also expressed heartfelt condolences and sympathy over the unfortunate incident.”