The soldiers and officers of the Nigerian Army are among the best militaries in Africa. They swore an oath to ensure that the territory and sovereignty of Nigeria remain intact by protecting the country if war arises. Such feats of courage and valour of male and female soldiers of the Nigerian army deserve the citizens’ respect and as such their welfare should be given due prominence when passed in the budget.
However, there have been widespread reports of misbehavior of military personnels who abuse the human rights of good civilians, intimidating these people because these officers believe that as soon as they adorn the camouflage uniform of the Nigerian Army, they have unlimited power to brutalize and act the way they like, like a “God”.
The Department of Civil Military Affairs is the body in charge of handling such cases and has provided these means so that any civilian that feels threatened or wants to lay a complaint about the conduct or irregular activities of a soldier or any officer of the Nigerian Army can do so and get justice.
This post addresses the numbers to call to report an erring soldier to the Nigerian Army, complaint against a soldier due to cases of misbehavior, abuse of power by any military officer.
MISCONDUCTS YOU CAN REPORT/COMPLAIN ABOUT
There are certain misconducts/things you can complain or report a soldier for to either the human right desk of the Department of Civil Military Affairs. These things are really serious offenses against the military act or decree. They include:
- Cases of harassment
- Unprofessional conduct by soldiers such as demanding and collecting bribes, extortion of money from innocent civilians.
- Extrajudicial killing
HOW TO MAKE A COMPLAINT AGAINST THE MISCONDUCT OF A NIGERIAN SOLDIER
The following are legal steps to follow to make a complaint against a soldier or officer of the Nigerian Army:
STEP 1: DO NOT THREATEN THE SOLDIER IN QUESTION
This is the most important step of all, as it is only one who is alive that can report a case against the behaviour of an erring Nigerian soldier. Even if you feel threatened by an officer of the Nigerian Army, do not threaten them but ensure that you are calm. You must be aware that they are trained to kill and can be armed. Insulting or abusing a military personnel only makes it worse for the individual. Also, avoid taking pictures or videos during the event as it would only provoke the soldier further. Remember, he that lives, lives to fight another day.
STEP 2: ENSURE YOU NOTE THE NAME OF THE SOLDIER AND RANK
Most times, this information can be found on the camouflage uniform worn by the army officer. You should endeavour to note the soldiers’ name and his rank so that he or she can easily be identified and fished out. The only pitfall in this step is that most soldiers now wear their uniforms without their name tags showing. In this case, it becomes difficult to identify such erring officers.
STEP 3: WRITE YOUR COMPLAINT FORMALLY
In doing this, you have to give details of when, why, where, what, who and how the misconduct happened. Express yourself as to what transpired with the military officer. If there are witnesses, ensure they also write out their statements in the complaint letter. If there is evidence of brutality or anything that would corroborate your story, it should be duly attached to the letter.
STEP 4: SEND THE LETTER TO THE NIGERIAN ARMY HUMAN RIGHTS DESK
Address it to the human right desk of the Department of Civil Military Affairs via this email “[email protected]”. Your address and contact information of both you and the witness should be included in the letter. We often advise that you send the letter as an anonymous person, removing your address due to safety. As earlier stated in the previous step, attach evidence of pictures or videos of the act if you were lucky enough to have such evidence.
STEP 5: FOLLOW UP THE COMPLAINT
Ensure that you follow up with the complaint you lodged. These are the phone numbers you can call to report a soldier or an officer in the Nigerian Army for misconduct: 193, 08160134303 and 08161507644.
STEP 6: USE THE CIVIL COURTS
Truth be told, most times justice isn’t only delayed but can be denied in Nigeria. It’s within your legal rights as a victim to sue the Nigerian Army and the soldier for his or her actions in a court as stipulated by the constitution. Use this method as your last resort if the other steps don’t work
While we respect the good activities of officers of the Nigerian Army, some bad eggs within believe that they are untouchable and can misbehave. Nigerians have complained about the excesses by some soldiers but haven’t gotten the much needed justice they deserve. We believe that these steps on how to report a Nigerian soldier would really go a long way in ensuring that victims get justice against such miscreants. Visit www.civilmilitaryaffairs.com.ng for more information.