51-Year Old Woman Hospitalized In Benin After Been Beaten Up By Soldiers

Soldiers on Monday assaulted a motorist, Joy Agboghide, for allegedly obstructing traffic on Forestry Lane, Benin, Edo State.

It was learnt that the incident occurred at about 4pm in front of the headquarters of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company.

It was learnt that an officer, a Major, was said to have emerged from the premises of the company and instructed the woman to reverse her vehicle in order to ease traffic on the narrow road.

Sources said Agboghide, a mother of six, however, explained that she had initially allowed about five vehicles to go due to the indiscriminate parking of vehicles on the road.

An argument was said to have ensued between the soldier and the 51-year-old woman, after the army officer insisted that she must reverse her vehicle.

The major, who was said to have been angered by the development, returned to the BEDC premises.

The source said he later returned with some soldiers said to be attached to the BEDC and allegedly ordered them to beat the woman up.
She was said to have been rushed to the Central Hospital in Benin where she is receiving treatment as of the time of filing this report.

Agboghide, who later spoke to our correspondent, said, "I went to Lagos Street to get some food items. So, I passed through Forestry (Lane) to the road beside former NEPA.
As I was going, the driver of the vehicle in front of me and some traders around told me to stop. I stopped and about four vehicles passed. Later, the traders told me to go.

"As I moved on, a soldier told me to reverse and I explained that I had waited for some vehicles to pass. But he said, 'Do you know who you are talking to? Reverse!' Before I knew it, he used his gun to hit my windscreen.
"I came out and asked him what I had done and he said I should wait. He went into the BEDC premises and came out with some soldiers who descended on me.
"He said they should clear me off the road. But as he tried to enter his vehicle, I pulled him and told him to pay for the damage done to my car."

Agboghide alleged that she was also assaulted by a woman said to be the wife of the officer.
She said, "As the man jumped inside his vehicle and tried to drive off, I hit his windscreen. He came down and damaged my windscreen and the rear screen.
"Suddenly, he came out with a whip and beat me. The lady inside the vehicle also sprayed tear gas into my eyes."

Spokesman for the 4 Brigade Command of the Nigerian Army, Captain Jonah Unuakhalu, told our correspondent that the officer involved was not in the Army.
"He is a Nigerian Air Force officer. But we are investigating," Unuakhalu said.

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