Women Minister meets Army over female soldier abused by top officers

The Minister of Women Affairs, Uju Kennedy-Ohanenye, met with Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen Taoreed Lagbaja at the Nigerian Army headquarters in Abuja to address the alleged sexual assault on a female soldier.

Ruth Ogunleye, in a viral video, accused two colonels and a Brigadier-General of harassment, intimidation, and threats. Ogunleye detailed mistreatment by Col. I.B. Abdulkareem, Col. G.S. Ogor, and Brig. Gen. I.B. Solebo since her posting to Cantonment Medical Centre, Ojo, Lagos in 2022.

She faced unjust imprisonment, eviction, and a month in a psychiatric hospital based on false claims. The minister’s visit aimed to gather information on the soldier’s case and efforts to resolve the matter.

She expressed confidence in the way the military authorities were handling the case, saying “I am happy to have met the Chief of Army Staff with his top management and must commend their collective efforts towards handling this matter.”

The minister explained that her visit followed the mandate of her ministry to promote the interest of every woman in Nigeria, adding “I have received strong assurances from the Chief of Army Staff concerning this matter who has equally detailed some senior officers to accompany me to visit Miss Ogunleye. I interacted with her and I am optimistic that the outcome will be fine.”

On January 16, it reported that the female soldier who recently complained in the viral video about sexual harassment in the military has been arrested and moved to Abuja.
SaharaReporters learnt that the soldier was flown to Abuja from Lagos on Tuesday morning.

“The lady who complained in the viral video about sexual harassment in the military has been arrested and moved to Abuja by air this morning. She was flown out accompanied by military police in mufti from Lagos to Abuja,” a top military source said.

According to her, her bank account had been frozen since February 2023 and she had not been paid salary for no reason.

She further alleged that Col. Abdulkareem had attempted to rape her on multiple occasions. The female soldier said the army officer later claimed that she had a mental illness, adding that she had made several efforts including writing a petition and getting some senior and junior officers to intervene but that all was to no avail.

She also said that Col. Abdulkareem had denied her access to every army course and passes to see her parents. According to her, her father contacted Col. Abdulkareem over her issues, but he (Abdulkareem) reportedly told her father to inform her to obey the last order.

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