Reps ask Army to release wife of Soldier who spoke out against Security chiefs

The House of Representatives has mandated its Security-Related Committees to interface with the Nigerian Army to ensure the release of the wife of Lance Corporal Martins Idakpani, Victoria Idakpani.

Lance Corporal Martins appeared in a viral video criticizing the Security Chiefs over the handling of the fight against insurgents and other armed groups in the north.

The soldier was earlier arrested but his wife was reportedly arrested while making attempts to secure the release of her husband.

The move to secure her release followed a motion of urgent public importance moved by the Minority Leader of the House, Ndudi Elumelu.

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Mr. Elumelu in his motion condemned the action of the military, he noted that the decision to detain Mrs. Idakpani contradicts the constitution and called for her immediate release.

“An Army Lance Corporal recently spoke out on issues pertaining to the northeast, and he alleged that he has information about how Nigerian funds are being wasted all in the name of fighting insurgence. The wife was arrested when she attempted to plead for the release of her husband.

“On 22nd of June, Lance Corporal Martins Idakpani from the 8th division, Sokoto made an online video, wherein he condemned the attitude of the Security Chiefs towards the incessant attacks and killings of innocent Nigerians by Boko Haram and other armed groups in the northern part of the country.

“In the same video, he mentioned that the nation’s Security Chiefs have failed Nigerians in their duties to protect the country by not showing any serious commitment towards the fight against these continuous attacks,” Elumelu said.

Elumelu, therefore, expressed concerns that “instead of the Security Chiefs to buckle up after seeing the video, the Chief of Army Staff ordered the arrest of the Corporal for speaking up against the army authority.”

He explained that the action of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai contradicts section 122 sub 6 of the Armed forces act.

“Although section 121 of the armed forces act grants the military the administrative powers to arrest its personnel, however, Section 122 sub 6 provides that such personnel is entitled to immediate release unless the release will affect National Security and the Lance Corporal has not proven to be any of them.

“Even though section 122 forbids the army from perpetually detaining any military officer, Lance Corporal Idakpani has been in detention since, and his wife who tried to secure his release has also been detained. This is an affront to chapter 4 of the 1999 constitution of the federal republic.

“The military are in a habit of this illegal and unconstitutional detention of soldiers whenever they ask that the right thing be done. If this trend is left unchecked, it may become a serious menace and that can fan the embers of our young democracy for the wrong reasons, hence the need for urgent intervention,” he said.

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