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COAS Directs Investigation Into Alleged Brutalisation Of Civilian Workers By Soldiers

The civilian staff of the Ministry of Defence had protested over an alleged brutalisation of their members by soldiers.


Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja_civilian brutalisation

 

In response to the recent concerns raised by the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN), regarding the treatment of civilian workers at Command Secondary School Iyana Ipaja, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja, said he has taken decisive action to address the situation.

The move comes following a staged protest by the civilian staff of the Ministry of Defence under the umbrella of the Joint Executive Council, over an alleged brutalisation of their members by soldiers.

The President of the Council, Didam Joel, said a civilian staff of the ministry has been under detention for a month by military authorities, even though he is not a military personnel.

Joel added that an assistant director of the ministry working at Command Secondary School, Ojo, in Lagos, was equally brutalised yesterday without recourse to civil service rules.

In response, the COAS, expressed his unwavering commitment to upholding the rights of all personnel, including the civilian staff.

“He has directed the Provost Marshal (Army) to conduct a thorough and impartial investigation into the unfortunate incident at the Command Secondary School Iyana Ipaja, Lagos. The investigation will comprehensively address all allegations raised by the ASCSN, with a focus on ensuring accountability and justice for all parties involved,” the statement signed by the Director Army Public Relations, Onyema Nwachukwu on Tuesday said.

The Nigerian Army said it recognises the vital role that civilian staff play in supporting its operations and day-to-day administration, and is therefore dedicated to fostering a positive and respectful working environment for all personnel.

While acknowledging that misunderstandings or miscommunication may occur, Lagbaja said the ongoing investigation aims to provide clarity, and implement necessary measures to prevent similar incidents in the future.

“The NA is committed to upholding the rule of law and respect for the rights of all its employees, including the fundamental rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining.

“Currently, the NA is actively engaging with the Ministry of Defence and the ASCSN to address any outstanding issues and promote a cordial working relationship and industrial harmony. The NA strongly believes that open communication and collaboration are key to resolving challenges, and is fully committed to maintaining these principles,” he added.

As the investigation progresses, the NA urged all parties to refrain from making premature judgments or spreading misinformation.

“Trust in the process is essential, and the NA is confident that the investigation will provide a clear and accurate understanding of the situation to facilitate appropriate and fair actions. We appreciate the patience and understanding of all stakeholders, as we diligently work to address these concerns,” the statement added.