The Nigerian Army has denied torturing one Christian Ehima to death in Edo as claimed by the deceased’s mother.
The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig. Gen Onyema Nwachukwu, in a statement on Sunday and made available to journalists in Benin, described as misleading the report on social media alleging that troops tortured one Ehima to death in Igbake, Edo State.
The statement read, “While we sympathise 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 indicates that Christian Ehima wandered into a military check point at Wire -Ake in Edo State on the December 10, 2021, without his clothes on, and was halted by soldiers on duty.”
Nwachukwu said upon interrogation, the deceased could not say anything meaningful on where he was coming from or heading, adding that his behaviour was rather weird and indicative of one who was under some sort of influence.
He added, “The Guard Commander, who observed his abnormal behaviour, 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 and a police officer and was invited to pick up her son, who was still very agitated and unstable.
When she was briefed about her son’s observed abnormal behaviour, she attributed it to influence of alcohol but the soldiers maintained that whatever was responsible for Christian’s behaviour at that time was way beyond alcohol.”
Nwachukwu explained that on sighting his mother, his behaviour aggravated while some passers-by were thereafter mobilised to help her take him to the hospital.
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 there for all to peruse,” he said.
He expressed surprise that the incident has been falsely reported in the social media without recourse to the reality of what transpired during the incident
He called on the public to disregard what he described as misguided information and an attempt to bring the Army to disrepute.
Recall that there had been report on social media in which Christian’s mother, Ehima Mercy, alleged that her son died as a result of torture in the hands of soldiers.