There is uncertainty concerning the health status or otherwise of detained Nigerian Army soldier, Lance Corporal Martins Idakpini, arrested for berating both the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai and the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin over their handling of the security situation in the country. The Lance Corporal incurred the wrath of the Military leadership by particularly venting his anger in a video that went viral where he criticised the Army Chief over the army’s failure to combat and destroy Boko Haram.
He said the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai had failed by “failing to provide adequate resources to soldiers combating Boko Haram” while also calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to be “serious in its fight against insurgency.” The uncertainty about his wellbeing is being heightened by allegations by Idakpini’s lawyer, Mr. Tope Akinyode to the effect that his client may have died in Army Custody since the soldier has been kept incommunicado since his arrest about a month ago. This uncertainty is coming against the backdrop of the refusal of the Nigerian Army to allow his lawyer and family to see Lance Corporal Idakpini in two separate occasions, which is against the order of the Federal High Court.
Recall that Justice AnwuIi Chikere of the Federal High Court, Abuja, had about three weeks ago held as unlawful for the army to continuously deny Idakpini the right of seeing his lawyer and family. The Judge ordered that Idakpani’s lawyer be granted access to him. The judge also ordered that the Attorney-General of the Federation and the Chief of Army Staff must ensure that the judgment was obeyed. Idakpini’s lawyer while describing the refusal of the Army authorities to grant access to the soldier as dictatorial, pointed out that the action was a violation of the Nigerian constitution. The judge also said the Attorney-General of the Federation and the Chief of Army Staff must see to it that the judgment was enforced and obeyed. However, after being denied access twice, Idakpini’s lawyer said it was unfortunate that the army under the leadership of Buratai had decided to disobey a valid court order. Meanwhile, the military authorities are yet to respond to the allegations of violation of the valid court order of the Federal High Court, which ordered that its judgment must be obeyed. Recall that Idakpini was arrested along with his wife, Victoria but the wife was released a few days later by the Army authorities. Vanguard News Nigeria