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Army Ignores Court Order, Bars Lawyer From Seeing Detained Soldier



The Nigerian Army has again hindered the lawyer of Lance Corporal Martins Idakpani, Tope Akinyode, from having access to him despite an order from a Federal High Court compelling the army to grant Akinyode access to the soldier.

Idakpani has been in detention since June for allegedly insulting the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.Gen Tukur Buratai; and the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin in a video which was spotted on social media platforms.

The soldier was arrested alongside his wife, Victoria, but she was released days later, but Idakpani has since been left in detention without access to family or lawyer.

Recall that Justice Anwuli Chikere a few weeks ago compelled the Nigerian Army to allow Idakpani’s lawyer to have access to him.

Justice Chikere further stated that Attorney-General of the Federation and the Chief of Army Staff must see that the order is obeyed.

However, Akinyode said he had been denied access to his client twice.

He further stated that it is disappointing that the Nigerian Army under the leadership of Buratai had decided to disobey a valid court order.

He said it was disheartening that even during civil rule the military had failed to shed its dictatorial tendencies.

Akinyode said he feared that his client may have been tortured or killed hence the decision of the army to deny him access.

The lawyer said, “Buratai’s conduct is a disgrace to the Armed Forces. He is tearing the constitution apart and rendering useless the concept of the rule of law. Buratai is about to become a dictator before our very eyes. There’s fire on the mountain.”

“I got to the army headquarters around 2 pm today after informing the AGF of my planned visit. Two officers that I met were identified as Lucky B and Genesis J. They denied me access to my client based on the order of Buratai.”

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