The House of Representatives has begun the process to rescue a soldier, Lance Corporal Martins Idakpein, who was detained for criticising Nigeria service chiefs over the rising spate of insecurity in the Country.
This was sequel to a motion to that effect moved by the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu at the resume plenary of the House on Thursday 2nd July, 2020.
The motion titled, ‘A call on the Nigerian Army to release Lance Corporal Martins Idakpein from arrest based on His expressed opinion,’ was seconded by Hon. Jerry Alagbaoso.
In adopting the motion, the House requested that Lance Corporal Idakpein should be brought before the relevant House committees and the leadership, to brief them of the happening in the northern part of the country, while mandating the Committees on Defence and Army to investigate the alleged detention of Lance Corporal Martins ldakpein and his wife.
ldakpein, from the 8 Division, Sokoto, of the Nigerian Army, had criticised the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, and other service chiefs in a viral video over the handling of the Boko Haram insurgency.
Subsequently, ldakpein was arrested and moved from Sokoto to Abuja. His wife, Victoria, was also arrested after she granted a media interview, calling for the release of her husband.
In leading the debate Hon. Elumelu stated that the Lance Corporal had alleged through an on-line video that he has proof to show how Nigerian funds are being wasted in the name of fighting the insurgency in the Northeast which has led to the wanton waste of lives of Nigerians.
Elumelu expressed concern that instead of the allegation to be investigated, the Lance Corporal was arrested by the military alongside his wife, a civilian, who went to plead for his release.
“The House is disturbed that though Section 122 of the Armed Forces Act forbids the military from perpetually detaining any officer, Lance Corporal Martins ldakpein, has been held in detention till date and his wife who tried to secure his release has also been detained.
“This is an affront to the letters of Chapter 4 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, which guarantees the fundamental human rights of citizens, the Minority leader stated.
The motion and the resolutions reads in whole:
MOTION BY RT. HON.NDUDI ELUMELU THE MINORITY LEADER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.
A CALL ON THE NIGERIA ARMY TO RELEASE LANCE CORPORAL MARTINS IDAKPEIN FROM ARREST ON THE BASIS OF HIS EXPRESSED OPINION
The house notes that on 22nd of June 2020, Lance Corporal Martins Idakpein from the 8 division Sokoto of the Nigeria army made an online video wherein he condemned the lackadaisical attitude of security chiefs towards the incessant attacks and killings of innocent Nigerians by Boko Haram and other armed groups in the northern part of our country.
Further notes that in the said video he mentioned that the nation’s security chiefs had failed Nigerians in their duty to protect the country and its citizens by not showing any serious commitment towards the fight against these continuous attacks by dissidents, bandits and criminals in the northern part of the country, thereby putting the whole nation in a state of panic and uncertainties.
Worried that instead of the security chiefs after seeing the video to buckle up and be up to their duties in protecting the country and its populace, the chief of army staff ordered that Lance Corporal Martins be arrested and moved from Sokoto to Abuja for speaking up against the army authorities.
Concerned that though section 121 of the armed forces act, grants the military the restrictive powers to arrest its personnel but section 122(6) of the same act provides that such personnel is entitled to immediate release, unless the release will be a threat to national security and lance corporal Martins Idakpein has not proven to be a threat in any way.
Disturbed that though Section 122 of the armed forces act, forbids the military from perpetually detaining any officer. Lance Corporal Martins Idakpein has been held in detention till date and his wife who tried to secure his release has also been detained too, this is an affront to the letters of chapter 4 of the 1999 constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria as amended which guarantees the fundamental human rights of citizens.
Acknowledge that the military who are suppose to protect the territorial integrity as well as enforce the laws of our nation are in a habit of these illegal, wrongful and unconstitutional detention of soldiers whenever they ask that the right things be done.
Further acknowledge that if these trends are left unchecked, it may become a serious menace that can fan the embers of our nascent democracy for the wrong reason, hence the need for urgent intervention and caution to the Nigeria military.
1.That the house mandates its committee on army to interface with the leadership of the Nigeria army to urgently release the wife of the Lance Corporal, Mrs Idakpein.
2.That the house mandates its committees on defense and army to investigate the alleged detention of Lance Corporal Martins Idakpein and his wife.
3.That Lance Corporal Martins Idakpein should be brought before the relevant House committees and the leadership to brief them of the happening in the northern part of the country from information within his knowledge.