The Nigeria Army has come under heavy criticism over extortion of motorists in Akpugo , Nkanu Enugu State as it embark on the Operation Python Dance 3 in several Eastern towns and cities.
The 82 Division of the Nigeria Army has however denied the allegations saying the rules of engagement and army code of conduct does not encourage the unlawful practice. This is coming after commercial bus drivers and truck drivers have have alleged that they are usually forced to part with N200 or N300 by civilian proxies before they are allowed to pass through the various checkpoints manned by the Army.
Investigations across such road blocks especially in parts of Enugu, revealed that commercial bus, tipper and truck drivers are made to part with some money usually through proxies, before they allowed to pass through.
But, reacting to the development, the Deputy Director, Public Relations, 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, Col Sagir Musa, denounced such alleged misdemeanor, saying it is against the rules of engagement, made available to military personnel on internal security assignments.
Musa’s statement read, “The 82 Division Nigerian Army don’t licence, condone, or encourage, any professional misconduct such as extortion by any of its personnel especially those on Internal Security duty.
Speaking further, the army Spokesperson stated,
“There have been various efforts such as Operation Checkmate; establishment of human rights desk, Rules of Engagement and Code of Conduct given to troops on duty to halt any form of professional infractions.
“So, we encourage anybody that witnesses such violations to report to 82 Division Human Rights Desk or Public Relations Department for appropriate and decisive action.”
Past military exercises like the Python Dance 1 & 2 which is geared towards flushing out criminal elements, violent groups and cultists have been sometimes marred by civilian complaint over unnecessary use of force, torture and extra judicial killings.