• Monday, February 26, 2024
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Alleged sexual harassment: Army cautions Nigerians against ‘hasty judgment

Nigerian Army

The Nigerian Army authority says it has said it has launched a probe into the allegation of sexual harassment and assault by its officers, and cautioned the public against hasty judgment.

The Army said it would take appropriate action based on findings of investigation.

The probe was launched following a viral video in which a female soldier, Ruth Ogunleye, accused three senior officers of harassment, intimidation, and threats to her life.

In the video shared on social media, Ogunleye claimed that her troubles began when she was posted to the Cantonment Medical Centre in Ojo, Lagos, where she encountered a colonel.

Allegedly, the colonel made unwarranted sexual advances towards her, which she rejected. Ogunleye further asserted that the senior officer subsequently threatened her with dismissal from the army, denied her promotion courses, and rejected her army pass requests.

The soldier also detailed how the colonel purportedly forcibly evicted her from her apartment and confined her to a psychiatric hospital.

Reacting, the Nigerian Army in a statement through its Director of Army Public Relations, Major General Onyema Nwachukwu, emphasized the seriousness of the allegations and pledged a thorough investigation into the matter.

Contrary to claims made in the video, Nwachukwu stated that the soldier had not followed the established procedure for seeking redress within the Nigerian Army.

He highlighted the existence of Human Rights and Gender Desks in Army Headquarters and across formations, where complaints related to human rights and gender issues are addressed.

“The NA remains a professional force that self-regulates and conducts its activities in adherence to established rules and ethics while upholding the highest standards of discipline amongst personnel,” remarked Nwachukwu. He urged all personnel to utilize established channels for addressing grievances and assured the public that the Nigerian Army, as an institution, is committed to upholding the integrity and morals of its personnel.

“We urge the public to allow the investigative process to take its course and refrain from making hasty judgments. The NA remains dedicated to serving our nation with honour and integrity,” Nwachukwu stated.