Nigerian Women Minister Meets Chief Of Army Staff, Lagbaja Over Female Soldier Abused By Top Officers

The Minister of women affairs, Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, has met with the Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Taoreed Lagbaja, at the Nigerian Army headquarters, Abuja, over the female soldier that was allegedly sexually assaulted by some top officers.

SaharaReporters had reported that one Ruth Ogunleye, a female soldier of the Nigerian Army, had in a viral video accused two colonels and a Brigadier-General of sexual harassment, intimidation and threat to life.

She had lamented how the senior army officers – who she identified as Col. I.B. Abdulkareem, Col. G.S. Ogor and Brig. Gen. I.B. Solebo – had been oppressing her since she was posted to Cantonment Medical Centre, Ojo, Lagos in 2022, for refusing their sexual advances.

She said she had been locked up several times for no reason, ejected from her apartment, and put in a psychiatric hospital for a month without any medication based on a false claim that she had a mental illness.

The women affairs minister in a statement on Friday through her media aide, Ohaeri Joseph, announced her visit to the Army Chief to get adequate information concerning the soldier’s case and efforts in resolving the matter.

She expressed confidence in the way the military authorities were handling the case, saying “I am happy to have met the Chief of Army Staff with his top management and must commend their collective efforts towards handling this matter.”

The minister explained that her visit followed the mandate of her ministry to promote the interest of every woman in Nigeria, adding “I have received strong assurances from the Chief of Army Staff concerning this matter who has equally detailed some senior officers to accompany me to visit Miss Ogunleye. I interacted with her and I am optimistic that the outcome will be fine.”

On January 16, it reported that the female soldier who recently complained in the viral video about sexual harassment in the military has been arrested and moved to Abuja.
SaharaReporters learnt that the soldier was flown to Abuja from Lagos on Tuesday morning.

“The lady who complained in the viral video about sexual harassment in the military has been arrested and moved to Abuja by air this morning. She was flown out accompanied by military police in mufti from Lagos to Abuja,” a top military source told SaharaReporters.

According to her, her bank account had been frozen since February 2023 and she had not been paid salary for no reason.

She further alleged that Col. Abdulkareem had attempted to rape her on multiple occasions. The female soldier said the army officer later claimed that she had a mental illness, adding that she had made several efforts including writing a petition and getting some senior and junior officers to intervene but that all was to no avail.

She also said that Col. Abdulkareem had denied her access to every army course and passes to see her parents. According to her, her father contacted Col. Abdulkareem over her issues, but he (Abdulkareem) reportedly told her father to inform her to obey the last order.

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