A fight broke out between two soldiers and some policemen in Ikole Ekiti, Ekiti State, over an alleged traffic violation by the soldiers.
According to the report, the soldiers, who were riding a motorcycle, drove against traffic and were stopped by a female police officer. The soldiers, however, refused to obey the traffic rules and argued with the policewoman, leading to a physical confrontation.
The policewoman called for backup and some armed policemen arrived at the scene.
A viral video shows police beating up one of the soldiers, who was unarmed, for allegedly attacking a policewoman and tearing her uniform.
Soldiers, Policemen Clash Over Traffic Violation in Ekiti pic.twitter.com/KNemc1T1x2
— Globalgistng (@Globalgistng1) November 9, 2023
The Ekiti State Police Command confirmed the incident and said that the two soldiers involved had been arrested and were undergoing investigation.
The police spokesperson, Sunday Abutu, said that the soldiers violated the traffic order and seriously assaulted the policewoman, who was performing her lawful duty.
Abutu told GLOBALGISTNG that the policewoman had cautioned the soldiers after they passed through one-way traffic, but they pounced on her injured her, and tore her uniform. He said that some civilians helped to stop the soldiers from escaping before the police reinforcement arrived.
He added that the case was a matter of violation of traffic order and serious assault on a policewoman, and not a clash between the police and the army.
This is not the first time that soldiers and policemen have clashed in Nigeria over various issues.
In 2022, a police officer was beaten to death by soldiers in Lagos. The soldiers were attached to the Army Ordinance Corps of the 81 Division Nigerian Army based in Ojo, and they attacked two policemen, killing one of them.
In 2021, the Nigerian Army accused the police of killing and brutalising some of its personnel. The then-Chief of Army Staff, in a letter dated November 23, 2021, to all formations and units, asked the military officers to forward all recorded incidents of police brutality against the army personnel. The letter was signed by Major General J. A. Ataguba and titled, ‘Evaluating Incidences Of Police Brutality Against Personnel Of Nigerian Army.’
The letter stated that the army was constitutionally tasked to provide aid to civil authorities when called upon, but this responsibility had created occasions for the police to equate its hierarchy with the army and this had often led to friction, especially at the lower levels.
The letter also stated that the friction had occasionally led to bodily harm and in some cases death to the army personnel, despite the fact that they had been identified and established to be serving personnel.
The letter said that the army was conducting an evaluation of these occurrences with a view to establishing the frequency and recommending possible remedial measures to stem the tide.
The letter asked the army corps, formations, and establishments to forward all recorded incidents of police brutality against the army personnel by December 8, 2021.