Oladipupo Paul, a 400 level medical and surgery student at the University of Lagos (UNILAG), recounted how a soldier identified as Emmanuel Olayisade and his friends bullied him for condemning his unruly behavior in the neighborhood.
Paul said the soldier, who lives in the same compound with him, also forced him to pay his 3,500 naira alcohol bill at an Ikorodu saloon after Monday’s beating.
“There are four houses in my compound where a young soldier lives with a tenant,” Paul told FIJ on Tuesday. “Yesterday morning, the soldier came to see me and told me that he wanted me to follow him to see a dentist.”
Paul, who has lived with his uncle in the grounds since the University Academic Staff Union (ASUU) launched its ongoing strike, condemned the soldier’s treatment of a young boy identified as Victor on the same day.
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“He said the boy was rude walking around people talking to him,” Paul said. “To correct the boy, he started beating him, asking him to prostrate on the ground. I was against it, so I went back to my uncle’s apartment to discuss what had just happened. The soldier entered and an argument broke out.
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FORCED TO SWIM AND DRINK FROM THE GUTTER
“The soldier tried to hit me, but I protected myself. They took me into the room and pulled him out,” Paul told FIJ.
About 20 minutes later, another soldier simply identified as Daniel arrived to escalate the situation.
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“He asked me what happened. I told him everything,” Paul said. The angry soldier (Daniel) then grabbed his phone.
“He started beating me saying: ‘How are you going to assume that I am? Shey na because he is small?‘ I was shocked because I thought we had settled the matter,” Paul said, noting that the first soldier (Olayisade) was his friend.
In audio obtained by FIJ, aggressive voices could be heard saying that Paul’s case would be used as a lesson for residents of the estate. The men speaking in the audio asked him to do certain things.
“They asked me to go into the gutter, drink the water from the gutter, roll like a log of wood and hang on the wall,” Paul said.
Neighbors gathered to plead for me, but they wouldn’t listen. I also begged. Despite this, I was not released. They said I had no remorse.
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The abuse lasted about two hours as the soldiers waited for a naval officer to join the punishment scene, according to Paul
“The navy guy came. He didn’t even ask what had happened. He concluded that I was the criminal and started beating me,” Paul continued. “I was beaten so badly that the neighbors cried and begged him to stop.”
Paul said the soldiers didn’t stop. “Instead, they asked me to face the sun while lying in the gutter. He poured water on me. I almost drowned. They told me never to assume a soldier. God knows what they meant.
After manhandling him, Paul was released. “They took me to a saloon where I spent 3,500 naira to pay their beer bills,” he said.
Contacted, Olayisade, the accused soldier, asked our reporter to visit him. “Shey you be a journalist? He asked. “Come to Ikorodu Polytechnic Gate to collect your information.”
Benjamin Hundeyin, the public relations officer for the Lagos State Police (PPRO), did not respond to calls made to him. He also did not respond to a text message sent to him as of press time.