Ben Dunno, Warri


A Niger-Delts Activist, Comrade Isreal Joe, has condemned the torture meted out to a citizen identified as Mr. Oje by personnel of the Nigerian Air Force in Osubi, Okpe Local Government area of Delta state, describing it as an act of oppression and a gross violation of the victim’s rights.


Raising concerns over the assault of the victim in a statement made available to newsmen in Warri yesterday, the Activist questioned the rationale behind the armed Air Force personnel to have beaten the victim to stupor and rushed to a nearby hospital by his distressed wife and passersby who were sympathetic with his condition.


Specifically, he berated the Commanding Officer (CO) at the Air Force Base in Osubi, Commodore Opu-Iyalla Akonye, for an alleged insensitivity to the plights of the victim, as he dismissed all inquiries made by him to investigate the crude manner his men had treated the victim, even when he was lying critically in the hospital.


The statement read in part; “We are particularly worried about the assault and harrassment by citizens in Okpe Local Governement in Delta State. Osubi and Jeddo, in particular by Airforce personnel under the leadership of the C.O Opu-Iyalla Akonye, who would either abuse you on the phone when you call his attention or tell you to get out of his phone”.


“Akonye is not the only Airforce commander that has been posted to this particular base. We have worked with a lot of commanders, and him, being the youngest, should exhibit more friendliness instead of the way he and his men act”.


“A lot of cases of human rights abuse are being reported against Air Force in Osubi base. Just yesterday, 17th March, a bolt driver, Mr. Oje, who was returning from work to his house in Osubi, was accosted by Airforce men posted to Osubi”.

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“He was asked to join some other young men being beaten by the Airforce. He was beaten to pulp. It was other drivers who escaped the same fate that called on his wife, who rushed to the scene that early morning to beg to allow them to rush the husband, that was laying almost lifeless close to his car to the hospital”.


“When I was called, I called the Airforce commander who didn’t take calls but later called the Air Force intelligence, who intervened, and the young man was rushed to the hospital”.


“I later called the Airforce commander Akonye to report the incident, but in his usual style, he shouted on the phone, defended his men, and blocked up the number”.


“I have alerted the DSS of these abuses and using this medium to call on the Air Vice Mashall to call Akonye to order as we might be left with no choice than a peaceful protest if this persist”, he stated.


When contacted on phone by Daily Sun the CO, Commodore Opu-Iyalla Akonye,said his line of duty does not allow talking to the media. He however noted that he had commenced investigations into the case.