‘My son has suffered, please release him’, mother of former soldier begs Buhari

Helen Odaudu, the mother of a civilian, Emmanuel, who has been languishing in the Nigerian Military Special Investigation Bureau underground cell in Abuja for eight months over an old Facebook video, has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari (retd), to assist in securing the release of her son.

Helen also appealed to the Chief of Army Staff, Major General Ibrahim Attahiru, to intervene in Emmanuel’s continued detention, lamenting that her son was suffering unjustly.

Emmanuel’s ordeal began when he posted videos of himself rapping in his uniform while he was in the Army. After being detained for three months, he was reportedly dismissed by the military authorities for his action.

Thos went from bad to worse for Emmanuel when the military tracked him down to his hometown in Benue State on June 12, 2020, on the allegation that he impersonated the Army when one of the videos that led to his dismissal resurfaced online.

According to Helen, the military authorities had been treating her son like a criminal because of the videos. She urged the President to use his office as the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces to get Emmanuel released.

“I am pleading with the President, Muhammadu Buhari, to ask the Nigerian Army to release my son. He has suffered a lot in detention. My son didn’t run away from the job, they dismissed him, because of one mistake and after his dismissal, they came back to re-arrest him and have kept him in detention for eight months without trial. He is a civilian and should be handed over for trial in a civilian court, because he is no longer a soldier.

“My son is not a criminal; he is not a murderer or kidnapper or a terrorist, so what has he done? All he did was to post a video of him rapping; if there is any other thing he has done, they should come out to tell Nigerians. I am also pleading with the new Chief of Army Staff to intervene so that my son can be released. I have been depressed and helpless,” she said while speaking with Punch.

Meanwhile, another fact emerged that part of the reasons why Emmanuel has been languishing in detention was because the Nigerian Army kept paying his salary months after his dismissal from service.

It was learnt that the Nigerian Army had demanded a refund of the money paid into his account and urged Emmanuel to sell his property to raise the money.

 

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