[The Injustice Blog] How a Naval officer looted a tailor’s shop after failing to pay for his services

The level of indiscipline and arrogance of military men in Nigeria has been chronicled by a lot of individuals and international organisations. Times without number, there have been reports of military brutality, many of which the military hierarchy has dismissed with a wave of the hand.

Most times, the military downplay such reports, ascribing it to an unknown officer or by promising to establish a panel of inquiry, the result of which is unavailable for public scrutiny.

The experience of Kelly Emoredeye popularly known as Funds Boss a fashion designer in Warri, Delta in the hands of a naval officer Gabriel Aimionowane is not only shocking but barbaric. A pointer to the fact that the military has not reformed itself through the purging of bad eggs.

Emoredeye’s woe began a few weeks ago when he was introduced to Aimionowane through a mutual friend. He saw an opportunity to expand his business but that decision is turning out to be one he’s regretting. Few days after, Aimionowane sent the clothing material to Emoredeye who delivered on the job but the naval officer failed to pay for the service rendered, leading the mutual friend of both men to pay as a face-saving mechanism.

In a phone interview with this writer, Emoredeye said he made up his mind not to have any dealings with the naval officer again, not until he (Aimionowane) sent eleven thousand naira into his account for another cloth, which according to Emoredeye costs twenty thousand naira. The tailor said he quickly made a call to the officer, informing him that he won’t be working on his clothes, but as the norm, with military officers, he threatened Emoredeye, who went ahead to sew the cloth.

After the work was completed, the naval officer failed to pay the balance of nine thousand and the tailor in retaliation seized the clothing with the determination of no balance, no delivery. When the naval officer couldn’t bear the delay, he sent two junior officers to Emoredeye’s shop to take the clothing forcefully and also instructed them to impound one of the tailor’s sewing machines. According to the tailor, the soldiers refused Aimionowane’s order.

Angered by this development, the naval officer stormed Emoredeye’s shop on Saturday, February 3, 2018, armed with a rifle, took his clothing, left with three industrial machines worth 100,000 naira each and a home theatre music player worth 50,000.

Alleged vandalisation at Emoredeye’s shop 1
Alleged vandalisation at Emoredeye’s shop 2
Alleged vandalisation at Emoredeye’s shop 3

The victim immediately reported the incident at a nearby police station but Aimionowane failed to show up. Also, a similar report made at the officer’s command base is yet to yield any result. At the moment Emoredeye’s business has been shut down as a result of Aimionowane’s action.

Emoredeye is not the first victim of abuse of power by military officers but will it be the last?? The Nigerian Navy is advised to look into this case of human right abuse to prevent a re-occurrence.

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