Assistant Superintendent of Police with the Delta State Police Command, Mercy Ehima, has narrated how the Nigerian soldiers tortured her son and denied help when he was dying.
The 53 years old officer who has worked with Police Force for about 31 years, said the soldiers accused her late son of dragging a gun with them, whereas, the boy was running away from kidnappers when he sighted the soldiers and thought he was in safe hands.
“I saw my son lying down in a pit on his back helpless with his belly up. He wore only his underwear and this was a child that complained of cold and headache. The soldiers exposed him to cold and all his body, his eyes, nose, mouth, ear, every part covered with sand. I shouted in shock.
“My son was struggling to stand up but he was weak and fell. The soldier who took me there said, ‘Don’t you see that he is acting like a mad person?’ I told him my son was not mad but he was weak from the severe beatings they subjected him to. I begged the soldiers to help me rush the boy with their Hilux vehicle so that he would survive. I promised to give them N20,000.
“No, they refused and told me to call the police to help me since I am a police officer. My son was struggling in the process but the soldiers did not allow me to get close to him. I called the Area Commander in Agbor but unfortunately, his line was not reachable. I called my family doctor, Dr Nkem, and he came with his wife. That was after an hour. It was already 9pm. They came with a vehicle and when we carried my son, he was very weak and very heavy.
“We took him to the hospital and they cleaned him up and placed him on drip. Around 2am on Saturday, my son woke up and complained of hunger and thirst but the doctor said I shouldn’t give him any food as he was suffering from internal bleeding.
“He told me that he never knew he boarded a kidnappers’ vehicle. He said they were close to the railway checkpoint where the soldiers were when the driver of the vehicle reversed. My son said he jumped down from the vehicle in the process and ran into the bush. He said he sent me a text message in the bush but I didn’t come. He said as he was proceeding in the bush, he saw a big snake and jumped out of the bush.
“He said he ran to the Army checkpoint, which was about four poles away. He said he thought the soldiers would come to his aid but as he was about to narrate his ordeal to them, they kicked him and he fell on the ground and they started to hit him.
“He said they asked him to get up and remove his shirt and trousers, which he did. They did all sorts of things to him before they led him to the other side of the road where they pushed him where I met him. Immediately he said so, he started complaining that his belly was tight and he gave up the ghost.
“He was just 24 years old and he studied Computer Science at the University of Benin. He told me he had some carry-overs and was going to sit the exams for him to be cleared for the National Youth Service Corps. He was into website designing and it was through it that he was able to make some money to establish a sachet water manufacturing plant some four months ago,” she told Punch.