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Soldiers manhandle House of Reps member in Benue




A FEDERAL lawmaker from Benue State, Kpam Jimin Sokpo has been beaten to stupor by suspected military officers at a hotel in the Gboko Local Government Area of the state.

Sokpo, who represents Buruku Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, said he “was attacked for no reason”.

Speaking to journalists, the lawmaker said he was with a group of friends around 2:30 am when “about five trucks filled with 60 soldiers alighted from their vehicles” at the spot they were sitting.

Sokpo said upon their arrival, he got up “to do something” when one of the soldiers confronted him, and asked why he was walking “in the manner” he did.

He added: “As I was talking he slapped me in the face. I asked why he did that, and I introduced myself as a House of Representatives member. I told him he did not know me and just slapped me in the face?

“Before I knew what was happening more than 30 of them just pounced on me using the butt of their guns to injure me. Some of the guns they used on me even broke into pieces. As I speak with you I have stitches on my face, on my head and I have all kinds of injuries on my body.

“While this was going on, their Commanding Officer came in and calmed the situation a bit. Shortly after they went on to harass me and collected everything in my car including every piece of paper.

“In fact, the one who started assaulting me threatened that he could even kill me. Unfortunately, I did not get their names because they removed their name tags before assaulting me.

“Believe me, I do not know why they did this to me. I have gone to the hospital to stitch the cuts and treat myself, but I have reported the matter to the Police and the Security Adviser to the Governor of Benue State.”

However, spokesperson of the police in Benue State, Catherine Anene said the Benue State Police Command is not aware of the incident.

“Our officers are still in the field for the elections. We are yet to receive such reports,” she said.

Sokpo sought reelection to the National Assembly under the platform of the Labour Party (LP) but lost to Sekav Iortyom of the All progressives Congress (APC).

Author profile

Sinafi Omanga is a journalist with The ICIR. His Twitter handle is @OmangaSinafi and Email: somanga@icirnigeria.org

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