The Nigerian military has denied reports that troops of 34 Artillery Brigade were responsible for the death of a 10-year old boy killed allegedly, by soldiers during the demolition of buildings at Eke – Ukwu market at Douglas Road Owerri.
The Brigade’s Spokesperson, Capt. Haruna Tagwai, in a statement obtained by Global Sentinel on Thursday, said that the story is not only baseless but maliciously crafted and intended to smear the good work of soldiers in Owerri.
According to Tagwai, the demolition exercise was carried out by Imo state Government Task Force with the Nigerian Police and Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corp providing security.
He said that the Nigerian Army and Nigerian Airforce were deployed at the outer cordon at the entry and exits of the market to prevent miscreants from looting and were not close to the demolition site.
On all these, he said, the heads of services were at hand to supervise the work and there was no report of any one killed, to the police.
He said: “During the debriefing at the end of the exercise, no such issue of killing was reported. The newspaper publication ascribing the killing of a 10 year old boy allegedly by soldiers was a figment of their imagination intended to bring the Army into t disrepute. The Brigade therefore, cautions the Punch news paper and other media outlets to properly crosscheck their facts before any publication.”
The Brigade Spokesperson said that “Army respects the sanctity of human life and protect same as a duty , we respect the sanctity of human lives and will protect same.”