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Nigerian Army Begins Probe Into Alleged Sexual Harassment, Threats Claims Against Female Soldier

Nigerian Army


Nigerian Army Begins Probe Into Alleged Sexual Harassment, Threats Claims Against Female Soldier

Till today I haven’t collected salary. I can’t endure this again. Let the worst happen.

Abuja, Nigeria– The Nigerian Army has carried out an investigation following disturbing claims made by a female soldier serving in Lagos State alleged that certain senior officers within the ranks have been making unwanted sexual advances towards her and subsequently oppressing her after she rejected their advances.

In a widely circulated video, the female soldier who did not give her name, lamented how the senior Army officers whom she identified as Col. IB Abdulkareem, Col. GS Ogor and Brig. Gen. IB Solebo has been oppressing her since she was posted to Cantonment Medical Centre, Ojo, Lagos in 2022, for refusing their sexual advances.

According to her, she has been locked up several times for no reason, ejected from her apartment, and locked up in a psychiatric hospital for a month without any medication with a claim that she has mental illness and her account frozen since February 2023 without salary for no reason.

She further alleged that Col. Abdulkareem had made some attempts to sexually assault her but when he was found out, he claimed that she had mental illness, adding that she had made several efforts including writing a petition and getting some senior and junior officers to intervene but to no avail.

She also said that Col. Abdulkareem had denied her access to military courses, and that when her father contacted ColAbdulkareem over her issues, he (Abdulkareem) told her father to ask her to obey the last order.

“I know definitely they will come for me. They will lock me up and they will dismiss me but I don’t care. I can’t endure again. Before coming out to make this video, I can’t endure again. I don’t want to die young. If anything should happen to me, please hold Col. IB Abdulkareem, Col. GS Ogor and Brig. Gen. IB Solebo responsible, because they don’t want me to grow. They don’t want my progress.

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“This is what happened. In 2022, I was posted to Cantonment Medical Center, Ojo where I met Col. IB Abdulkareem, who requested sex from me and I refused. Ever since then, this man has been my nightmare in the army. He threatened to dismiss me each time he sees me.

“He ejected me from my room, sent some boys to my house. I have all the evidence and I have witness. He came to my house to eject me.

“Each time I try to expose him or each time any senior officer tries to intervene, he also stigmatizes me, that I have a mental illness. He would always tell them that I have mental illness.

According to her, “He wrote to DOA three times to board me out of the Army. He froze my account for one year. He froze my account since February last year (2023) till date, no salary.

“I have cried to some senior officers. I wrote a petition using Section 179 of the Armed Forces Act. I have seen so many officers, senior officers, junior officers to intervene but none of them is giving me a listening ear. Any time anyone tries to intervene, he will tell them that I have mental illness.

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She explained that there was a day he locked her, and almost raped her, when they caught him, he said she have a mental illness and he took her to a psychiatric hospital and locked her up there for one month without any medication.

“He has denied me access to military courses, meanwhile, they know very well that my progression in the army is determined by my course attendance. No course. I have been given admission in a medical school but he refused to release me.

“There was a day I called my dad and my dad intervened but he told my dad to tell me to obey the last order. What is the last order? For him to sleep with me? He has denied me everything. I can’t even go on passes to see my parents. No pass, no leave for me. But please and please, if anything should happen to me, hold them responsible, especially Col. IB Abdulkareem, Col. GS Ogor and Brig. Gen. IB Solebo. They are my nightmare in the Army.

“They have done everything to tarnish my image because they are all course mates. I don’t know what I have done to them. Till today I haven’t collected salary. I can’t endure this again. Let the worst happen.”

In a statement issued on Friday, January 12, Major-General Onyema Nwachukwu, the Director of Army Public Relations, said that the female soldier had not notified pertinent authorities and institutions about her situation prior to posting a video.

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“The Nigerian Army (NA) has been inundated with audiovisuals making the rounds on social media of the unprofessional conduct of a female soldier in mufti, who claimed to have been maltreated by some senior officers. It is instructive to state that considering the gravity of the allegations, NA as a disciplined force will conduct a thorough investigation into the matter.

“It is crucial to point out that contrary to the claims made in the video, the soldier in question has not exhausted the laid down procedure for seeking redress in the NA. This is aside Human Rights and Gender Desks established in Army Headquarters and across NA formations, where complaints about human rights and gender issues are also entertained.

“The NA remains a professional force that self-regulates and conducts its activities in adherence to established rules and ethics while upholding the highest standards of discipline amongst personnel. We, therefore, encourage all personnel to always utilize the established channels for addressing grievances and concerns as a member of a noble and disciplined force.”

He assured Nigerians that the Nigerian Army as “an institution is committed to upholding the integrity and morals of its personnel and as such appropriate actions will be taken based on the findings of the investigation.

“We urge the public to allow the investigative process to take its course and refrain from making hasty judgments. The NA remains dedicated to serving our nation with honour and integrity.”

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