Army Dragged to Court for Arresting Wife of Soldier Who Criticised Buratai

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The wife of a soldier, Mrs. Victoria Idakpini, and her husband, Lance Corporal Martins Idakpani, have sued the Nigerian Army, the Chief of Army Staff, and the Attorney-General of the Federation for breach of fundamental human rights.

Mrs. Idakpani was arrested last week barely days after her husband, Lance Corporal Idakpani, berated the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.Gen Tukur Buratai; and the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin, in a video which went viral on the Internet.

In the video, the soldier called on his superiors to resign as they had failed in the war against terrorism.

In the suit filed on their behalf by their lawyer, Mr. Tope Akinyode, the applicants are seeking an order to compel the respondents to release her immediately.

The couple, in a supporting affidavit deposed to on their behalf by one Apeh Abuchi, said they had been denied access to a lawyer and had not been informed of the alleged crime they committed since their arrest last week.

In a signed statement issued yesterday, Akinyode, who is the National President, Revolutionary Lawyers’ Forum, described the continued detention as illegal.

The lawyer said in a statement, “We have just filed an action at the Federal High Court against the Nigerian Army, Chief of Army Staff and the Attorney of the Federation of Nigeria over the unlawful arrest and detention of Lance Corporal Martins and his wife, Mrs. Victoria Idakpini.

“On June 23, 2020, the Nigerian Army arrested Lance Corporal Martins for being critical of the army chief of staff over the handling of security crises and lack of adequate amenities to battle terrorism.

“We are of the considered view that the continued detention of Lance Corporal Martins violates his fundamental human rights much as it violates the extant provisions of the Armed Forces Act.

“Unfortunately, the Nigerian Army displayed a higher degree of despotism on June 25 when it illegally arrested and has continued to detain the wife of Lance Corporal Martins, Mrs. Victoria Idakpini leaving her three children- twins of two-years-old and another who just clocked three – to the care of no one.”