Officers of the Nigerian Army belonging to the 34 Artillery Brigade Owerri acting on the instructions of the Imo State government on Saturday, August 26, 2017, injured many shop owners and killed a ten-year-old boy, Somtochukwu Ibeanusi while “supervising” the illegal demolition process of the Eke – Ukwu market in Owerri.
In the words of Somtochukwu‘s father, “While I was trying to remove my goods from the shop, I was alerted that my son had been shot by the Army. I quickly rushed to the scene but my son was already dead. He was shot in the back of his head. The soldiers that shot the bullet did not care, they quickly moved on.”
The distraught father had to abandon his goods as he left the market with his son’s lifeless body, drenched in blood from the head shot by the Army officers.
As expected, the Nigerian Army known for its poor human right record will never accept wrong of any situation, and this was evident in the statement made by the Spokesperson of the 34 Artillery Brigade Owerri, Haruna Tarwai who denied the allegation.
He claimed that his men neither killed nor manhandled anybody. Tarwai said his men were only deployed in the scene to protect officers demolishing the market.
The action of the soldiers and the corresponding defence by the spokesman is synonymous to what was obtained in the killing of more than 300 Shiites members by the Nigerian Army, after an altercation with the army officers in the year 2015.
The presence of the officers in the market is illegal as the action is outside the purview of their key responsibility area.