COAS orders investigation into alleged brutalisation of civilian workers by soldiers

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

This move follows a protest staged by the civilian staff of the Ministry of Defence under the Joint Executive Council, over the alleged brutalization of their members by soldiers.

The President of the Council, Didam Joel, stated that a civilian staff member of the ministry had been detained for a month by military authorities, despite not being military personnel.

Joel further mentioned that an assistant director of the ministry, working at Command Secondary School in Ojo, Lagos, was also brutalised without any regard for civil service rules.

Responding to these allegations, Lieutenant General Lagbaja expressed his unwavering commitment to upholding the rights of all personnel, including 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 of 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 miscommunications 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 urges all parties to refrain from making premature judgements 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.



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