Ruth Orji the woman who was attacked and severely injured by soldiers in Ikorodu, Lagos State has sued the Nigerian Army and her attackers. She is, among other things, demanding N250m as damages.
She was allegedly attacked by soldiers attached to 174 Battalion, Ikorodu, around 8:30pm on Sunday. Images of her, showing the injuries she sustained have gone viral on the social media, sparking outrage.
And the Joint Legal Action Aids, the rights group representing her, is optimistic she will get justice in court.
The General Counsel of the JLAA, Kingsley Ughe, confirmed that he filed the case on her behalf at a Federal High Court in Lagos.
“We have today filed a legal process at the Federal High Court against the Nigerian Army and her assailants to assert her right and demand for N250m compensation,” he said.
He added that the case was not the first the JLAA was instituting against the army in connection with soldiers brutalising civilians.
“We have a similar action already against the Nigerian Army in the case of Ebere Sandra Ohakwe , the actress brutalized and dehumanized by soldiers in Port Harcourt,” he said.
He expressed the hope that beyond getting justice for the victims of military brutality, the cases would help check the rising cases of degradation of civilians.
He said, “We are using her case and that of Ebere Ohakwe to send a message to lawless elements within the military that the days of impunity and degradation of the Nigerian people is over.
“We have a binding precedent in the case of Rosemary Okeke who suffered a similar fate and got justice through the court system.
“We are very confident of the unassailable nature of the cases and the evidence therein, these two cases will change our legal landscape to the extent that the rights of the Nigerian will once again be placed on the front burner and the courts will have opportunity to adjudicate on it.”
When contacted, the Director, Army Public Relations, Brig. Gen. Sani Usman, said there were several disciplinary procedures in the army to deal with alleged human rights abuses, adding that the infractions would be investigated.