The Nigerian Army has barred a lawyer, Mr Tope Akinyode, from seeing his client, Lance Corporal Martins Idakpani, despite an order of a Federal High Court compelling the army to grant him access to the detained soldier.
KanyiDaily had reported that Lance Corporal Martins was arrested since June over a viral video on social media criticising the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, for “failing to provide adequate resources to soldiers combating Boko Haram.”
The soldier was arrested along with his wife, Victoria. While she was released a few days later, Corporal Martins has remained in custody for over a month and denied access to relatives and legal representation.
Following a rights violation lawsuit on July 22, Justice A. I. Chikere of the Federal High Court, Abuja granted the soldier access to his lawyer and relative.
The judge held that it was a contravention of the fundamental human rights of the soldier not to be allowed to see his family and lawyer.
However, when the soldier’s lawyer, Tope Akinyode said he had been denied access to his client twice, despite being served copies of the court processes.
The lawyer said it was unfortunate that the army under the leadership of Buratai had decided to disobey a valid court order.
Akinyode said he feared that his client, Lance Corporal Martins, may have been tortured or killed hence the decision of the army to deny him access.
KanyiDaily recalls that some Nigerian soldiers had also recorded another video where they where heard crying and raining curses on Buratai with great bitterness for setting them up to be ambushed and killed by the Boko Haram.