The Nigerian Army has denied reports that its troops killed one Cyril Obruche in Ovre–Eku community, a border town between Edo and Delta states.
The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Onyema Nwachukwu made this known in a statement on Thursday in Abuja.
He described the report as misleading, false and orchestrated to present the Army in bad light. Nwachukwu said troops were not deployed during the protest when the unfortunate incident occurred at PRESCO Plc in the border community.
“For the records, considering the sanctity of human life and the enormity of the allegation; the Nigerian Army formations under whose areas of responsibility the community fall conducted a discreet investigation; that revealed that troops were not deployed to the said company, PRESCO plc.
“The media report is not only misleading, but laced with falsehood orchestrated to present the NA in bad light.
“It Is important to unequivocally state that no soldier was deployed at Ovre-Eku community; thus the unfortunate incident that led to the death of Master Cyril Obruche; during the protest cannot be attributed to troops of the Nigerian Army.
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“It is also pertinent to reiterate that; the corpse of the deceased is not in the custody of the Nigerian Army,” he said.
Nwachukwu extended the Nigerian Army’s sympathy to the family of the deceased; as well as members of Ovre-Eku community. He urged individuals or groups peddling the falsehood to get their records straight; even as he asked them to desist from misinforming the public just to tarnish the image and reputation of the Nigerian army.
He assured Nigerians that the Army would remain resolute in its resolve to respect the fundamental rights of the citizenry; while adhering to extant rules of engagement in internal security operations.
The Security Manager of the company, Mr Ahmed Rabiu, had earlier absolved the Nigerian army of any involvement in the incident.
In a letter dated March 30 and addressed to the Assistant Inspector-General of Police Zone 5; the manager did not made mention of any involvement of soldiers in the incident.