Mrs. Ruth Orji who was brutalised by some soldiers in the Ikorodu area of Lagos State, narrates the incident. It was unmistaken over the telephone that Mrs. Ruth Orji’s had been crying all day. Her voice clearly conveyed misery.
One could not also miss the fact that her grief was both physical and emotional.
In a grave, broken voice, Orji, a mother of three, said she thought she was going to die the night she was flogged mercilessly by military officials attached to 174 Battalion, Ikorodu, Lagos.
Amid her sorry state, she managed to narrate how it all happened…
“I’ve not seen my children since Sunday, March 12. My children are very young; aged 9, 6 and 4. I can only imagine what they are passing through. My children don’t even know where I am. We have never been apart for this long. I pleaded with the military doctor and other officials to allow me see my children but they said no. I see myself as a single mother, my children need me. They should please allow me to see my children,” she pleaded.
She added that only her phone and a pair of slippers were returned to her with her jewelry still missing. Also, Orji said that at the military hospital, her visitors were barred from seeing her.
“Luckily, one of my sisters managed to sneak into the hospital. She was able to take pictures of my body to show Nigerians my bruises. She helped me spread the news about how I was unfairly brutalised. I think the l*aked pictures spurred the visit of a brigadier general from Ikeja – I didn’t get his name; he visited me this morning (Wednesday morning). He was not happy about what happened to me. He said the soldiers involved would be dealt with; he left afterwards,” Orji stated.
Orji’s narration was interrupted by a doctor treating her who sounded uncomfortable with her long conversation on phone. He uttered a few words to her and her response was, “Doctor, please just give me five minutes to finish this conversation.”
She later added that the treatment she was receiving at the military hospital was poor, noting that between Sunday night and Wednesday, she was only given one injection.
Orji stated, “I’m in serious pains; no one can imagine what I’m passing through. The drugs I’m being given too are poor. I told the doctor that they should please take me to a general hospital where I can receive proper treatment. I’m feeling sick; my temperature is high. I told him I don’t want to die here. But the doctor said it was one ‘madam’ that ordered that I should be treated there and he cannot discharge me,” she said.
Meanwhile, as of Wednesday, the 81 Division of the Nigerian Army said it had inaugurated a Board of Inquiry and detained six soldiers in connection with Orji’s brutality.
It was learnt that Orji was later transferred to a hospital in Ikeja Military Cantonment.