Military bans sirens and horsewhips as victim sues

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Apparently to forestall a repeat of the incident in which navy soldiers brutally assaulted a lady motorist in Nigeria’s commercial city of Lagos last month, the nation’s top military chief has banned the use of sirens by military personnel, except the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) and the Service Chiefs.

The ban, imposed by the CDS, Air Marshal Paul Dike, was announced by the Defence spokesman, Col. Chris Jemitola, in the capital city of Abuja Tuesday.

He said while the exempted officials must use the sirens “sparingly and when absolutely necessary”, no one is allowed to use the horsewhip because it ”is not part of military uniform and will not be tolerated to be seen in the possession of anyone.”

Nigerian soldiers routinely wield horsewhips which they use on anyone they feel has offended them.

But the spokesman said the CDS had a zero tolerance for indiscipline and would not tolerate any errant soldier, especially now that the Nigerian military is “in the transformation gear”.

Early last month, navy soldiers escorting a top military brass through traffic in Lagos assaulted a lady motorist, Miss Uzoma Okereke, for allegedly blocking the convoy of their boss.

Air Marshal Dike later ordered an investigation into the incident.

The attack, which was caught on video, has generated angry reactions across the country from women and human rights groups, political parties and individuals, including Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinka.

The lady has since sued the navy for 100 million naira (US$1=118 naira).

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